Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Heavy Metal

Old furniture can be wonderful, but old paint is cause for concern. Lead was not banned until the mid-Seventies, and many pigments were toxic beyond amateur comprehension. In 1981 I contacted a city utility tox-haz specialist to ask about powdered artists' pigments and learned that cadmium and the like are second only to plutonium in their danger and persistence. Plutonium is bothersome for tens of thousands of years.

If you choose to furnish with a funky vintage piece, at the least isolate old paint with a coat or two of wax to contain the subtle, poisonous powder that drifts off the surface as the oil binding it dries over time  -30-

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