Toxic Heavy Metal Remediation in Sculptors Workshop

Toxic Heavy Metal Remediation in Sculptors Workshop

Working on my public art commission with the help of a family-owned machine shop, I witnessed a young father teaching his 5 or 6-year-old daughter how to Tungsten-electrode, Inert Gas (TIG) weld steel.  It is not easy to handle “the magic wand” of a TIG torch.  The TIG uses a high frequency electric arc, glowing white hot through an envelope of Argon gas flowing around and protecting the melting metal.  I observed the daughter across the room, shrouded in helmet and protective clothing.  Her gloved hands agilely maneuvered the thin welding rod into a white-hot glow.  The bright electric arc light illuminated the room with contrasting bright blue-white surfaces and the darkest of shadows.  I have known genius child artists before, and their freedom from over-intellectualizing the creative act is notable.  Child artists are not worried about commissions.  Their works “come from the heart”.

A couple of weeks later, my project finished, I was cleaning up my work area, collecting my tools and preparing to depart, the brother of the girl’s father approached me to say a “good bye”, however his face expressed great loss and shock.  He proceeded to tell me that the young girl was dying in a hospital; her digestive tract stopped working and was breaking down.  My heart collapsed.

It was not until a year later that I realized she may have been accidentally poisoned by toxic metal vapor coming from the welding lessons.  Most people are not aware that young children are many times more susceptible than adults to toxic substances.  In addition, it is important to note that in the past, inexpensive and Chinese-made welding rods may contain higher percentages of toxic heavy metals.

Over the years, many of the machine shops where I worked on sculpture commissions had welders who were getting sick.  Upon occasion, I would be allowed by the shop foreman to weld and grind on my own sculpture.  After a few days of grinding smooth the welded steel joints of a sculpture, I would become slightly ill.  But, I always carried a bottle of Grape Seed Extract liquid to eyedropper under my tongue.  I discovered that this anti-inflammatory herb, previously used for my old injury pain, would also stop the illness born out of grinding the welded metal joints.  Heavy metals and aluminum in the blood of adults cause inflammation and symptoms of poisoning.  I found that anti-inflammatory herbs help cool the symptoms, so I could finish a project, but I also needed to get into a serious detox program for long term results.  Welding rods sometimes contain small amounts of toxic heavy metals such as lead and cadmium.  These heavy metals vaporize during welding and grinding much more easily than the iron in steel.  A cloud of very fine iron and heavy metal dust swirls around the metal shop worker.  I believe that many machine shops can become hazardous waste sites for the lead and other heavy metals that leach out of fine steel powder and dust.

Let’s clean up metal sculptors’ studios and machine shops.  Save our kids.  Clean with chelators for heavy metals, and keep the children away from these toxic dusts.  I would also treat the sculptors’ clothing as dangerous to children until the clothing is washed.  I suggest that sculptors remove their workplace clothes before entering the homes where children or pregnant women reside.  For those of us who are already carrying heavy metals or aluminum in our bodies, there are heavy metal tests and oral chelator treatments available through Alternative medical practitioners.  The symptoms in children whom have been exposed to heavy metals may be depression and the inability to focus on school work.  In the interest of preserving humanity, we must protect our children.  The young lady was born to someone like you.


Toxic Fumes From Welding Rods:


Heavy Metal Poisoning in Children:


The use of Lead in Steel:


Heavy Metal Poisoning:


Radio Frequency Radiation Harm to Children:

Copywrite 2018 Doug Czor


One Reply to “Toxic Heavy Metal Remediation in Sculptors Workshop”

  1. Maybe we need to look at more studios in the Albuquerque area where artists working with toxic materials and get information from them.