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Re: About paper grain

Message text written by "RLavadour"
Hi Richard -

I teach papermaking to a range of students from pre-schoolers to adult as=

visiting artist in schools and in my own workshops.

In these classes, we almost always recycle material instead of using new
pulp as it's cheap, and fits in with other reduce/reuse/recycle themes in=

the classroom.

I know that the dyes and bleaching agents used in commercial papermaking
nasty (We're working with junk mail, construction paper, etc. as opposed =
cotton printmaking paper). What I don't know is whether these agents beco=
inert during the initial papermaking process or if they can be released
blended back into pulp and floated in a vat of water.

It has been very difficult to get any information on this. I tried severa=
paper mills, who told me that the chemical "cocktails" they use are trade=

secrets. One company did email me a list of chemicals that 'might' be use=
which included mercury and all sorts of other nasty stuff. I tried the EP=
I don't know if you have ever dealt with them, but it is enough to make y=
want to hang yourself with a recalled car seat strap. Short story...got
nowhere. (Even though they just released a large study on dioxins and the=
effects on children...) I was told this was too obscure for them to have
information on.

I have always had all my students wear gloves when recycling commercially=

made paper. I'm very fortunate to have come across a large case of heavy
elbow length industrial style gloves in size 'extra small' that work grea=
with the kids and have held up well over time.

Any chance you could shed some light on where to look for some hard data =
any hazards that might be associated with soaking your bare skin in water=

and recycled commercially made paper pulp?

Hi Roberta,

I've never protected myself when working with =

paper pulp but then, I knew what was in the formula.
As a matter of fact, paper pulp without the chemicals
commonly used in paper manufacture is used by
some wine companies as a filter medium. It is mixed
in with the grape squeezings (technical term) and =

then pressed along with the grape residue.

As far as the additives go, as you said, formulas
are proprietary. You might get a better response
from paper chemical companies like Monsanto
or Hercules who are anxious to explain their
chemical systems.

I don't think you will get a satisfactory answer that
will set your mind at ease, however, because
paper can come from so many sources
and be treated in so many ways. I think your
approach to work with rubber gloves is a reasonable
one if you don't know what is in the paper. =

I didn't see anything in your signature stating where you are or what you=

do...I'm assuming you are a conservator?

I live in Webster, NY, a suberb of Rochester - home of
Bookbinding 2000!!

My background is chemical engineering and pulp and =

paper manufacturing. For many years I specialized in
the physical properties of paper.

I started bookbinding four years ago. Unfortunately I
was not interested in binding books myself when my
grandfather, who was a bookbinder, was living.
Too soon old and too late smart. For the last couple
of years I have been learning from Fred Jordan.

Best regards,
Dick Grant

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