FYI: Use a Dust Mask or Respirator when using clays

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

CaraBou

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
3,078
Reaction score
3,177
Location
Montana
As with any fine powder, don't stir it up. Gently scooping it in spoonfuls won't be a hazard I don't think. I'm guessing it's listed for industrial applications.
 

snappyllama

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
3,910
Reaction score
3,040
Location
Near Charlotte NC
^^^ I think we are okay with the minimal exposure hand-crafters get. The dose makes the poison and all that.... Of course, if anyone is particularly sensitive to respiratory irritants or otherwise concerned, dust masks certainly aren't a bad idea. :)
 

WildIris

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
15
Reaction score
5
Kaolin clay is not a poison so much as an irritant to the lungs. Kaolin clay is a silica that can lead to silicosis. These are fine particles that one might not see but a dust mask might capture. It isn't a one time exposure to silica but repeated exposure over decades that one might want to consider. One might want to use the same precautions as if in a ceramics studio when using powdered clays. Using a dust mask is as important as using lye safe gloves and goggles. Someone new to soaping might not know this, hence the FYI.
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,460
Reaction score
4,250
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
I take 1 tsp from a jar and gently mix it with 1 tsp of water from the recipe. It doesn't release dust in this way.

I think putting it on top of batter and SBing it in might be a bit more likely to create dust.
 

Hettie

New Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Silica in soap making

Just a heads up to anyone using clay in their soapmaking. Some clays contain silica which is a known lung irritant. But what you might not know, and I just learned, is that silica exposure increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. So, be sure to wear a protective dust mask and work an area well ventilated when working with clays, or any fine powder.
 

SaltedFig

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
2,225
Reaction score
2,122
Location
Australia
Hi Hettie,

Are you able to provide a bit more information on the link between the two?

A reference would be invaluable, if you have one.

Just a heads up to anyone using clay in their soapmaking. Some clays contain silica which is a known lung irritant. But what you might not know, and I just learned, is that silica exposure increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. So, be sure to wear a protective dust mask and work an area well ventilated when working with clays, or any fine powder.
 

Hettie

New Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
silica in kaolin clay

Hi Salted Fig,

If you Google "dangers of silica in clay and autoimmune disease" you'll find lots of references. It's true that we needn't be worried about our exposure the way people in mining or construction need to be, but it's important to use masks when working with dusts, just as it's important to wear goggles and gloves when working with lye and raw soap. Good habits keep us safe in the soap room.
 

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,711
Reaction score
3,321
Just another bit of info to consider; clays often contain lead. I gave it up because we have a child who takes classes with clay. It's very hard to know how much exposure to lead or silicas is a problem so I took a huge abundance of caution because both lead exposure and silicosis show up when it's too late to do something about it.

Using mica concerns me because that stuff stays airborne forever. (ever see what Nurture's Super Sparkles can do?) However, I haven't given that up. Hmm...guess my abundance of caution doesn't apply to me so much? Maybe I assume that since we often have windows open that the fresh air cleans it out. :think:
 
Top