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Hazardous Materials Use/ Mixing and Handling Visual Arts

106a. Hazardous Materials Use/Mixing and Handling Visual Arts

These procedures are specific to the visual arts areas, which include photographic, graphic, theater, and architectural arts and are supplemental to those listed in the Hazardous Materials Storage BMP.


  • For solvents, use an odorless paint thinner or turpenoid rather than the more toxic.
  • In any area where chemicals are stored or mixed, proper ventilation must be provided to meet acceptable standards.
  • Use the least dusty types of media in paint areas.
  • Use water-based inks whenever possible.
  • Wet mop and wipe or High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA) vacuum all surfaces when using dry paint pigments and clays or plaster.
  • Use lead-free glazes.
  • Do not use lead compounds at stoneware temperatures to reduce vaporization.
  • While painting, reduce evaporation of solvents by covering open containers.
  • Use paintbrushes rather than spraying whenever possible.
  • Use water-based airbrushing paints and inks rather than solvent-based paints.
  • Use the least toxic pigments possible. Do not use lead or carcinogenic pigments.
  • Wear gloves, goggles and protective apron when mixing concentrated photo chemicals. Always add any acid to water, never the reverse.
  • An eyewash fountain and emergency shower facilities should be available where the photo chemicals are mixed, due to the corrosive alkali in developers, and because of the glacial acetic acid. In case of skin contact, rinse with lots of water. In case of eye contact, rinse for at least 15-20 minutes and call a physician.
  • Do not store photographic solutions in glass containers.
  • Do not put your bare hands in developer baths. Use tongs and gloves instead. If developer solution splashes on your skin or eyes, immediately rinse with lots of water. For eye splashes, continue rinsing for 15-20 minutes and call a physician. Do not use para-phenylene diamine or its derivatives if at all possible.
  • Cover all photo developing baths when not in use to prevent evaporation or release of toxic vapors and gases.
  • Use premixed clay to avoid exposure to large quantities of clay dust.
  • Clay storage and mixing should take place in  separate rooms.
  • Bags of clay (and other pottery materials) should be stacked on palettes or grids off the floor for easier clean up.
  • Lead glazes should only be used on non-foodware items. Design lead-glazed pieces so that they won’t be used for food or drink. Lead-glazed pottery should be labeled as lead-containing.
  • If possible, don’t use colorants that are known human carcinogens and avoid probable human carcinogens. There is no known safe level of exposure to carcinogens.
  • Avoid the use of the most toxic pigments: lead white or flake white, the arsenic variety of cobalt violet, true vermilion (mercuric sulfide) and chrome yellow (lead chromate).
  • Obtain MSDSs on paints to find out what pigments are being used. This is especially important because the name that appears on the tube of color may or may not truly represent the pigments present. Manufacturers may keep the name of a color while reformulating the ingredients.
  • Do not use varieties of stones which may contain asbestos unless you are certain that your particular pieces are asbestos free.
  • Techniques to keep down dust levels in the air include daily HEPA vacuuming or wet mopping, and use of a water spray over your sculpture when you are carving. Do not dry sweep.
  • Wear chipping goggles to protect against flying particles; wear protective shoes to protect against falling stones. Wear approved safety goggles when grinding, sanding, or polishing. For heavy grinding also wear a face shield.
  • Change clothes and shower after work so as not to track the dust home. Wash your clothes regularly.
  • Refer to Welding BMP.


  • Use water-based airbrushing paints and inks rather than solvent-based paints.
  • Use the least toxic pigments possible. Do not use lead or carcinogenic pigments.
  • Use lead-free glazes.
  • Use least dusty types of media in paint areas.
  • Use water -based inks whenever possible.
  • Wet mop and wipe, or HEPA vacuum all surfaces when using dry paint pigments, clays or plaster.
  • Collect spent fixer for waste disposal.
  • Reduce evaporation of solvents in painting use by covering open containers.
  • When possible use paint brushes rather than spraying.


106b. Swimming Pool Chemicals

Chemicals may become a hazard when wet, exposed to high humidity or when improperly mixed with other chemicals or reactive materials. A variety of chemicals, especially those exhibiting oxidation properties, can potentially be highly reactive and capable of generating high temperatures, as well as releasing toxic vapors, if improperly stored or handled.


  • Keep chemicals dry. Storage areas should be designed and maintained so that water does not come in contact with containers of packaging.
  • Chemical storage areas should have a containment capacity equal or greater to the volume of chemicals stored.
  • Periodically monitor water to ensure adequate concentration of biocide present.
  • Maintain biocide at levels adequate to ensure public safety.
  • Chemical containers should be closed tightly when not in use.
  • Chemicals should be stored away from doors and windows.
  • Ensure that there are no roof leaks, open or broken windows, or leaks from water pipes, hoses or the sprinkler system.
  • Ensure that floors are sloped to keep water drained away.
  • Store chemicals on shelves or pallets to keep containers off the floor.
  • Use waterproof covers on packaging.
  • Exercise caution to prevent water contact with stored chemicals any time water is used for cleanup of floor areas near stored packages.
  • Ensure that water will not back up from faulty or clogged floor drains.


  • Procedures for proper mixing of chemicals must be posted at the site(s) where mixing occurs.
  • Separate incompatible substances; avoid storing containers of liquids above containers of other incompatible substances.
  • Do not mix old chemicals with fresh chemicals, even if they are of the same type.
  • Consider separate, designated tools for each chemical. Handle only one chemical at a time and make sure that tools used with one substance are not used with another unless all residues are removed.
  • Use separate, designated containers for cleanup of spilled materials to avoid inadvertent mixing of spilled substances.
  • Make chemical storage area housekeeping a priority. Do not allow rags, trash, debris or other materials to clutter hazardous materials storage.


  • Consult the appropriate MSDS for guidance on the appropriate personal protective equipment necessary to protect your employees.
  • See that PPE is kept clean, in proper operating condition, and available for use when needed.
  • Consider development of work practices to minimize dust generation and accidental contact with pool chemicals.
  • Provide a means of ready access to water for removal of chemicals that may accidentally contact employees.


106c. Potable Water

Potable water or water suitable for drinking comes from a variety of sources (i.e. surface water, springs, or underground aquifers). In raw form it is usually unsuitable due to contamination from sediment, bacteria, etc. Therefore, it must be treated prior to use.


  • Routinely perform laboratory testing to verify water quality.
  • Periodically test incoming raw water to verify that changes in water quality have not occurred.
  • Perform routine maintenance on piping and filter network. Verify integrity of said systems.
  • Verify back flow preventer is installed per local codes and is operational.
  • Alternate source for potable water should be in place to assure uninterrupted water supply in the event of an emergency.
  • UV light can be used to reduce the levels of chlorine needed to eliminate bacteria.
    • UV light is damaging to eyes. Care must be taken to avoid looking at the UV lights when in operation.
    • Prolong contact will cause burns to exposed skin. Do not handle tubes while unit is operational.