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08/17/2005: "Going Non-toxic (and terrified)"
Well, I decided to start shopping for an air purification system and I remembered something Jackie had posted in here once about getting one that filtered VOCs. I couldn’t remember what “VOC” stood for so I looked it up…from the epa website: Sources of Indoor Air Pollution - Organic Gases (Volatile Organic Compounds - VOCs)
Household products including: paints, paint strippers, and other solvents; wood preservatives; aerosol sprays; cleansers and disinfectants; moth repellents and air fresheners; stored fuels and automotive products; hobby supplies; dry-cleaned clothing.
Health Effects: Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.
I've had just about every one of those "health effects" not to mention the recurring kidney infections that follow each of my openings and have been getting steadily worse. The thing is, I'm *very* dependant on my chemicals. I use Liquin and matt and high gloss varnish, turpentine, and various other painting mediums. I've tried in the past to use walnut oil alkyd to speed drying etc. but how do you thin the paint without turpentine or liquin? How do you do glazing? Adding lots of oil makes the mixture feel too viscous. I guess I'll have to research this because the urgent care physician said I could die from a kidney infection or be on dialysis for the rest of my life and really scared the jeebus out of me. I mean, I know I'm supposed to suffer for my art but I thought they meant metaphorically speaking!
Is there anyone else out there using oils with a completely non-toxic studio?