Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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02/23/2004: "Help prevent another Toxic Avenger!"

My studio space is just a corner of my living room on the second story of my house. There are no walls or anything that seperate from the livingroom, dining room or kitchen. So, all the fumes from the solvents and Liquin that I used kind of disperse throught the upstairs of my house, which is where I spend all of my time. The smell has been getting steadily stronger, and I can't always leave a window open because then it get's way too cold and also I don't want to waste heat.

So, I'm considering buying an air filter that works well on airborne chemicals in the studio but I have no idea about which ones work and which one's don't. I would appreciate any suggestions from artists who have some kind of filtration system set up where they paint (or do any other kind of art that produces noxtious odors).

Replies: 4 Comments

on Monday, February 23rd, Micky said

Don't get an Ionic Breeze from the Sharper Image. I got one for my studio and it sucks. Plus it was really expensive. I'm currently in the market for a new one, so I'll check back here to see what you decide on.

on Thursday, February 26th,">Jackie said

Check out this website. I know there is alot of information out there about the hazards of working with solvents/art materials. Sounds like you need a fan of some sort to suck the fumes out of your house to outside. I don't think any filters or ionizers on the market are approved for removing toxins/VOCs from the air.

on Thursday, February 26th, Elise said

Thanks a lot for the info. I checked out that website and it sounds like getting an exhaust fan is a better way to go than an air purifier. I don't know if air purifiers remove VOCs because I don't know what that means.

The only problem with an exhaust fan is that I have tall windows that open sideways, not up and down, so I don't know how I could get one to fit in my window.

Any ideas?

on Friday, February 27th,">Jackie said

Sorry. I work at a Clean Air Agency in the Seattle area(tho not as an engineer). VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds, such as those toxic fumes found in turpentine/paint thinner/many paints - even household latex has some. That's why enamel paints are so evil. And paints or any chemicals sprayed through a sprayer - like spray paint or an air gun - are really bad, because the tiny particles get into your lungs better.

As for fans - I don't know if a household fan would be strong enough, but we have some that are long and narrow, and can go in either a side-sliding or top-sliding window. They can switch to exhaust or blow air into the room. They were cheap - and we bought them at the hardware store (like Loewe's or Home Depot). I know Juneau may not have those stores - but any home store probably would. Except they may not be all geared up for summer things like fans up there yet!