Some Good Health News! (Off my usual topic, but worth reading!)

metallic gift boxes
I went to a doctor specializing in environmental and occupational health recently because I was exposed to metal dust, solvents, and other such stuff while doing arts and crafts at home. Luckily for me, I found out I was injured by the exposure, but not poisoned. I still need a chest X-ray to be certain, but she thinks the metals that pierced my skin and eyes won't kill me and could leave me no worse off than I am now. Of course, I have to be patient. It could take months before the glue and metal dust and solvents and paper work their way out of my system. And the lung damage - if it occurred - isn't fixable. But I remain hopeful that I'll completely recover. I'm trying to be patient in dealing with the after-effects, but I did manage to ingest and inhale quite a bit of metal, paper, plastic, and glue!

handmade craft boxes
I learned a lot of hard lessons these past 2 months. I learned that every time I cut a piece of metallic paper or ribbon, tiny slivers would break off. I also learned that ionic air cleaners are really electrostatic precipitators that basically magnetize every particulate of smoke or dust in the air. The magnetized molecules stick to the metal collection bars, which cleans the air. These fans are magnetic, too. With four Ionic Breezes running in a small room, the teeny bits of metal would spin around the room, slicing though my eyes and piercing my skin as they went. And since I was breathing the whole time, I inhaled the stuff, too.

metallised mementos
This might sound stupid, but I didn't know metallic paper and metallic Mylar and such really stuff contained metal. I was using origami paper, for goodness sakes! Yet all that stuff from the craft store has a Material Safety Data Sheets hidden away somewhere. Almost all the non-toxic products I use tell you to wear masks, goggles, gloves, and protective clothing. Some even say that ingestion, inhalation, and skin contact (!) require a physician's care.

boxes Decorative
Like many people with ADD, I am drawn to things that shine and shimmer. I love my shiny little boxes, and all the other stuff I make with the same materials. I have been perfecting this technique for about five years now, but I'm done with crafting for the time being. It is not worth the lung pain or the feelings reminiscent of glass splinters. It's not worth the lumps and bumps all over my body, each of which is actually adhesive, paper, or tiny specs of metal dust. It is not worth having my pores clogged with permanent, waterproof adhesive so nothing will come out.

boxes 1
It is (mostly) my own fault for running all those Ionic Breezes while I worked. (Oh, and I also learned that breathing in ozone is bad for humans, at least in large quantities. When I sold Ionic Breezes on eBay in 2001, they were supposed to be good for people with breathing problems. I remember a mom with a severely asthmatic child begging me for a portable one.) Now, four Ionic Breezes in a small, unventilated room produces far more ozone than the government considers safe. But ozone does other things besides damage your lungs. It bonds with molecules in solvents, glues, and metals and can even change non-toxic materials into toxic materials. Evidently everything is hazardous to your health these days!


  1. Glad to hear you are going to recover completely, Susan. It's a pity though: you made some really beautiful things!

  2. Thanks for sharing all this information with us. It's amazing that such an innocent activity could produce so much agony. I hope your recovery is speedy and complete. Take care.

  3. Those boxes are just gorgeous. I love them and would buy them. What an irony that a thing so pretty and from which you clearly derived such pleasure and into which you put so much of yourself has taken a big peice out of you in the end. In a perverse way, this has probably put you in touch with another part of yourself, though. This would be like finding out my camera was ruining my eyes or my writing was eating a hole in my brain. Wait - i think maybe it is! Must stop here. I hope you will be all fine and dandy and off to create more wonderful things. Best care, RRR

  4. just linked this article on my facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all.

    Good Health


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