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[BKARTS] MSDS Nonsense - turned Health and Safety

List members,
I feel this may be an appropriate time for me to chime in regarding a new line of health and safety products we offer that may be of interest.

Artists workspaces are full of all sorts of dangerous chemicals, most of which we no longer recognize given the length of exposure we subject ourselves to on a daily basis. On a recommendation of a well know painting conservator in Canada we were introduced to the Aller Air air purifiers for removal of airborne volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, mold and dust mites as well as common odors. These units are excellent for filtering smaller studios and maintaining air quality in areas that are typically attached to our homes with children and pets in close proximity. These are not novelty type units that you will find in Sharper Image or Bed Bath and Beyond, but are made for industrial applications such as manufacturing facilities, doctors offices, laboratories, etc. and are extremely effective. Most charcoal filters on the market today have a fabric filter with ounces of charcoal that has been sprayed onto the filter; Aller Air units use beds of charcoal containing between 22 and 36 pounds of carbon, allowing them to actually be effective in workshop environment environments and absorb more toxic chemicals over a longer period of time.

The power and effectiveness of activated charcoal as a filtering material is something that has been known for a long time but only recently has it started to work its way into more products geared towards consumers. Every day all of us are exposed to chemicals of one form or another, and some in greater exposure levels than others depending on the work we are engaged in. Ones own safety is not something to be taken lightly, and adequate preventative measures should be taken to avoid future health problems.

Additional information Aller Air air purifies can be found on our web site here:

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have regarding these units. Other units, both smaller and larger are available as well.

Aaron Salik
20 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
212-219-0770 Phone
212-219-0735 Fax

Subject: Re: MSDS nonsense From: "Jack C. Thompson" <tcl@xxxxxxxxxxxx> Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 23:25:36 -0700

Whenever I introduced a new chemical treatment to my employees I flagged the relevant page of Lange's _Handbook of Poisoning_ and made them read it. If, after reading the entry, they decided against using that chemical, that was alright with me.

I learned early on that some people are sensitive to chemicals, and
that what did not affect me, physically, could affect other people.

In addition to Lange, my reference collection contains over 2 dozen
toxicological books, among the most useful of which are:

_The Merck Index_
_Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials_ by N. Irving Sax
_Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products_
_Artist Beware_ by Michael McCann
_Health Hazards Manual for Artists_ by Michael McCann
_Bacterial and Mycotic Infections of Man_, Rene J. Dubos, ed.
A 16 disk set which includes all of the MSDS files accessed by
first responders to a disaster scene.  A lot of MSDS files.

When I began the study of conservation, in the early '70s, one of
the first things I did was read all of the back issues of the AIC
(American Institute of Conservation) newsletter.

An interesting thing became clear as I read obituaries.  Most of
the painting conservators were dying in their 50's-60's; while
most of the others were dying in their 80's-90's.

Painting conservators handle more chemicals in the course of a
treatment than most of the rest of us, and they were generally
more casual about safety precautions than most of us are today.

Foncannon is right; too much is made of some things in use in
daily life.

Butter used to be bad; now it is good.  Coffee used to be bad;
today's news said it is good; the more the better!  Up to a point,
of course.  Like ethanol.  You know - beer, wine, whiskey.

Read, learn, think.


Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, Oregon  97217

503/735-3942 (phone)
503/289-8723 (fax)


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