Safety Precautions for women
(Pinole, CA, USA)
What safety precautions should women use for lead and soldering concerning birth defects? Should women always use a mask? And if yes, what type of mask do you suggest? Should women always use lead free solder?
I do not feel qualified to answer your question. There are differing opinions on lead and how you get it in your system. You can contact Stained Glass Association of America
and ask them for information. If they don't have it they will tell you where to find it.
What I can tell you though is if you are pregnant or nursing you should not be handling lead, solder or chemicals for stained glass at all.
If you have children or animals never let them in your workshop.
Wear clothing that you can remove before entering the house after you have been working in your workshop. Take a shower if possible. If you've been grinding glass you will have glass dust in your hair...not a good thing to be cuddling a baby with.
Wash your hands well before you handle food, smoke or put anything in your mouth. Actually this is a good procedure for anyone, children or not.
Do not have food, drink or cigarettes in your work area. It is so easy to dunk your flux brush in your coffee cup! You do not want to be handling anything that goes in your mouth while you're working with lead or chemicals.
Use a fume extractor when you are soldering. A hooded extractor is best. A HEPA air filter next to your soldering area would give additional protection.
Lastly, if you are pregnant, talk to your doctor. Tell him you work with stained glass and get his opinion.