From: Monona Rossol <0000030664c37427-dmarc-request**At_Symbol_Here**LISTS.PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Art department charcoal dust control
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2018 13:56:47 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 165b007859f-1ebe-2e2a**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <42256DA2-07DD-4C0C-90AC-1EB495B8D310**At_Symbol_Here**>

The first thing to do is be sure it is charcoal.  You need to see the SDSs of the products used.  There are some black stick products that are really graphite, others that are fillers like chalk, barites (barium sulfate) or talc with nigrosine and other dyes or pigments. Still others are carbon black pigment which is a very fine particle and may have PAHs and other impurities.

If it is really pressed charcoal or vine charcoal sticks, it is a nuisance dust. I certainly would never use HEPA room filters. They usually usually are positioned over head so they don't capture where the stuff is generated and the air coming out the back stirs up more dust than they collect.

Frequent HEPA vacuming or wet mopping is about the only thing that keeps it down.  

And it wouldn't hurt to watch them work before you make any suggestions.  If they are working on newsprint with the charcoal sticks, fine.  But I have seen some students and/or teachers use hand-held chunks of graphite and canvases with a toothed surface where they come out looking like miners at the end of the hour.  I've seen other teachers encourage using their hands to apply and feather the lines and blowing on the work which also gets the dust all over themselves.  Just observe a bit.  Don't announce your visit first.

And then there was the worst "charcoal drawing class" I saw which was a teacher who used the sticks with the organic pigments and dyes and had each student use lighter fluid to cause the black to run and bleed on the paper.  Her rationale was the lighter fluid was an ordinary consumer products so no precautions were necessary.

Always listen to what they say and then go see.

Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President:  Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
Safety Consultant:  SAG-AFTRA
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012     212-777-0062


-----Original Message-----
From: Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU>
Sent: Thu, Sep 6, 2018 10:53 am
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Art department charcoal dust control

I have a question about controlling charcoal dust in our Art Department's drawing studio. My web research indicates that the dust can be treated as a nuisance dust, but for housekeeping purposes and health protection of the students, our faculty would like to control the dust in the drawing studio as much as possible. Has anyone use room HEPA filters to help control dust levels in this setting or do we need to rely on work practices by the students to avoid spreading their charcoal dust around the room?

Thanks for any information on this.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
603 358-2859


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