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Thread: Lampworking While Pregnant...

  1. #1
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    Default Lampworking While Pregnant...

    HA! No, I'm not pregnant... at my age? Sheesh! ;-)

    As an instructor, I'd like to have answers to questions about any issues related to torchwork while pregnant. I've read some stuff, and I have some experience regarding fumes and ventilation. If someone wants to take a basic lampworking class that only involves making beads with regular old Effetre glass and nothing else (no metals, frit, or powders), would this pose any problems? The torches are Minor bench burners, set up in a large building with no ceilings other than the roof, with an open window and skylight in and near the roof. There are no fans going, but nobody has ever had any issues in there with CO. What say you, oh lords of safety?

  2. #2
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    Shirley,

    You could add a CO monitor and then you'd be sure that the level was safe.

    I can't think of any reason why a pregnancy would deter someone from learning to make beads--if her arms are long enough!

    I'll be interested to hear what others have to say.

    Nolly

  3. #3
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    Default

    I personally think the ventilation is inadequate for any torch work... Let alone for some one who is pregnant...

    Here you have multiple torches running at same time under condition's that have been repeatedly stated as not safe in our home studios...

    Does the fact it has a skylight and a tall ceiling make it safe.. NO... Not even if skylight is able to open which above question does not state whether this is possible or not.... Even if sky light were open to outside, you have to rely on convection to carry out contaminated air (combustion byproducts) and if there is a bad draft (wind/storm) that is reversing the convection flow, its blowing all the things we are trying to avoid right back at you.....

    Dale

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    Unhappy

    Hi Shirley, holy merd! I almost thought it was YOU who was pregnant, LOL!!

    Anyway, I digress..... this subject has been a topic in the past. There are both camps on the opinions. There was no conclusive decision. Does lampworking kill a fetus, not likely. Does it cause any birth defect external or internal, that can go undetetected for a long time? How would we know until it was too late?! What we inhale during our pregnancies DOES affect the fetus. Is it worth the risk? THAT is the question?

    My opinion is if I could wait two years to build my studio before I started lampworking (back when there were no studios to rent). I know I could wait 7-9 months of a pregnancy. But that's me....

    Ofilia

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your input, folks!

    Actually, I'm going to invest in a CO monitor (for a couple of reasons) and bring it down to where I teach. I've very curious about the conditions there, particularly now that I'm teaching regularly.

    Ofilia, how could you have imagined even for a nanosecond that I was pregnant?! LOL!!! What a thought - holy merde indeed...

  6. #6
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by ShirleyCook
    Ofilia, how could you have imagined even for a nanosecond that I was pregnant?! LOL!!! What a thought - holy merde indeed...

    Hi Shirley! Hey, bigger merd has been known to happen;>)! I was trying to imagine what kind of baby shower you'd be having...... do you buy pampers AND Depends as a joke. LOL!? (JOKE!! I know you are not anywhere near that age, just JOKING, mon ami!!) OMG, could you imagine starting all over?!

    Well, getting back on the subject, it's just a 'really, you don't know'. As the fetus is progressing, different organs are forming. How do we know if something in our environment could affect it's developement? The few months one is pregnant, pass in such a wink of an eye! There is plenty of things to keep busy with in the mean time. When the time comes to really focus on the torch, it is near ogasmic in excitement from all the anticipation and planning of what creations can be born from the flame! Just tell you student that, LOL...

    Ofilia

  7. #7
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    Hi Shirley

    I think CO is not the only bad combustion byproduct. Did you think about NOx, nitrogenoxides? They are responsible for the "bleach-like" smell in lampworking studios. They dissolve slowly in water (brings them to the bottom of your lungs) and react there with proteins. The resulting products are nitrosamines with carcinogenic properties...

    To make it short: You NEED ventilation. The natural draft might be good enough for one torch and the owner. But in a teaching studio you have to use proper vantilation to get rid of the combustion products.

    I recommend to wait with lampworking at least for the whole time of pregnancy and the next six months. This might be too long for the real risk, but what are 15 months compared with a whole lifetime?

    Dietmar

  8. #8
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    I jsut know I wouldn't do it.
    It has nothing to do with lampworking, but.
    I worked in a dental office. We had nitrous oxide. The dental industry discovered that if the man was the one in the office he tended to be less fertile. If the woman was the one that worked in the office she would be more likely to loose the fetus. It seemed to be perfectly safe for the patients that were in the office, but the long term exposure was hard on the staff.
    So if you extrapalate that to lampworking...One session, MAY pose no problem, BUT WHO KNOWS? But long term exposure maybe a problelm. And while pregnant. It is much better to err of the side of safety, afterall it's a life and a lifetime of err if there is a problem.
    There is enough question, I just wouldn't do it.
    Leslie

  9. #9
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    Actually, if I was the person who was pregnant, I probably wouldn't do it - but the person in charge of filling the classes was asked the question by the potential student, and so she turned around and asked me what the "industry experts" say. Since I'm not an industry expert, I figured I'd put the question out here.

    Dietmar, I know there are other considerations besides CO, I just don't know what they all are. Thanks for bringing that to our attention. Are there any other sorts of byproducts that we should worry about?

    I'm going to have the person in charge of the classes come directly to the forum here to read your responses.

    Thanks everyone for jumping in here with information! Keep it coming!

  10. #10
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    Default

    We did cover this in the past so if the archive is still around you can find it. I had dug up quite a bit of information about ths subject, which, of course, is all in my packed-away files.

    Vince

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