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Health and Safety for Professional Doll Artists

Making babies may be your hobby, or your full time profession, but the materials used need to be respected and handled carefully. Because our businesses typically start from the kitchen table, there is a tendency to think of the materials as safe hobbyist products when they are actually commercial grade products sold to us on that basis. The more dolls you make, the greater the exposure to dust and fumes.

Most of the solvents are flammable, and almost all artists are using fine powders or sanding cured polymer clays that irritate airways, or paint thinners that harm both lungs and skin (even if they are odorless). If you work with airbrushes, the health risks are more considerable as the fine mists of paint or silicone can be very hazardous if they enter your lungs - especially uncured.

Investing in the right equipment to protect you as the artist, or others who may share your workspace, is the most important investment in your artistic career.

It is important to read and keep on hand the MSDS (Manufacturers safety data sheet) for solvents and chemicals so that you know what precautions are required for storage, use and disposal. 

Typical precautions may include:

  • Protecting skin using gloves and wearing long sleeves and closed to shoes.
  • Protecting your lungs from dust by using extraction and/or N95 particle filter masks
  • Protecting your lungs from solvent damage by using a suitable respirator or extraction. Change the filters regularly.
  • Venting all dust and fumes outside to protect all people and animals in your workspace - preferably using a suitable extraction system
  • storing flammable items such as solvents outside of your home, perhaps in a shed or outhouse
  • wearing non flammable clothing
  • check your house insurance - does it cover you for damage caused by this kind of work?

Always remember that you are buying these items as a professional, and it is your responsibility to check that they are going to provide the level of protection that you need for your methods and products.

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