The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide

Front Cover
Allworth, 2001 - Art - 405 pages
With the information contained here artists can at last be free from fear and confusion to return to creativity in the safest, healthiest environment possible. “Vitally important.”—Library Journal

If you are a painter, sculptor, printmaker, potter, welder, papermaker, photographer, or teacher in the arts, staying healthy and safe in your work place should not be a matter of circumstance. Through dozens of handy tables, diagrams, and charts, Monona Rossol’s essential book points out dangerous ingredients found in specific brands of paint, dye, and adhesives; simple supplies such as goggles and ladders that keep classrooms and studios safe; and steps that art educators can take to comply with OSHA regulations. This volume also details helpful and potentially life-saving subjects such as:
  • Questions to ask when ordering art supplies
  • Recommendations for proper ventilation
  • Safe work practices
  • Precautions for individual media
  • Art materials and projects for children and other high risk individuals

Not only artists, but those who work in school administration, health care, and risk analysis will benefit from the surprising facts revealed. For example, art and craft supplies labeled as biodegradable, water-based, and natural must be handled with utmost caution, because they can still contain highly toxic properties.

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The artist's complete health and safety guide

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Most artists are at least vaguely aware of the dangers their profession poses, and several high-profile lawsuits have led to complex regulations regarding the handling of art materials. These concerns ... Read full review

About the author (2001)

Monona Rossol is a chemist, artist, and industrial hygienist. She is the founder and president of ACTS (Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety), a not-for-profit corporation based in New York City dedicated to providing health and safety services to the arts. She writes a monthly newsletter on government regulations and research that affect the arts and theater, and she has published numerous articles in professional journals. She is the author of five books, one of which, The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide, won a 1996 Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries.



She was born into a theatrical family and worked as a professional entertainer from ages three to seventeen. She enrolled in the University of Wisconsin where she earned a B.S. in chemistry, an M.S. majoring in ceramics and sculpture, and an M.F.A. with majors in ceramics and glassblowing and a minor in music. While in school, she worked as a chemist, taught and exhibited art work, performed with University of Wisconsin music and theater groups, and worked yearly in summer stock. After leaving school, she performed in musical and straight acting roles in Off and Off Off Broadway theaters and cabaret.



As an artist, she was in the first glassblowing courses taught at the college level by Harvey Littleton. Her ceramics, sculpture, and blown glass have been exhibited in more than forty group and four solo shows. She is a voting member of the American Society of Testing and Materials subcommittee (ASTM D-4236) that sets toxicity labeling standards for art materials



As an industrial hygienist, she worked seven years as a research chemist for the University of Wisconsin and a year with an industrial research laboratory. She has been a full professional member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association since 1984, and the health and safety director for Local 829 of the United Scenic Artists since 1995.



In 1980, Rossol developed and taught the first two college-level "Health Hazards in the Arts" courses in the United States at the University of Wisconsin. She has now taught these courses throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. She taught the first recorded "Right to Know" OSHA training for theater in 1986 at La Cage Aux Folles in the Palace Theater in New York City, and specializes in OSHA training of art and theater workers and teachers in the United States and Canada.



Rossol is a sought-after lecturer and consultant in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, and Mexico. She lives in New York City.

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