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Old 08-28-2018, 07:03 AM
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kat_skinner kat_skinner is offline
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Question Using pastels when pregnant? Is it safe? Suggestions?

Hi everyone,
My husband and I are trying for a baby. I use pastels a lot, and have become concerned about whether they will be safe to use whilst pregnant. Whilst some brands switch to synthetic material, some still use potentially dangerous materials.
I mostly use pastel pencils, harder pastel sticks and pan pastels. So many different brands. I am fairly neat, so donít tend to get too much pastel on my skin... but what about dust?
I donít blow the dust, but tap it off into a trash bin usually. Should I be buying some sort of mask for safety? Should I buy a little vacuum (or would this push dust particles into the air)?
What are your experience and suggestions?
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:49 AM
CaliAnn CaliAnn is online now
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Re: Using pastels when pregnant? Is it safe? Suggestions?

I recently had to give up pastels because they kept causing me horrible sinus infections - bad enough that I had to be hospitalized. I tried using mask, gloves and have a filter going, but still problems. The one thing the allergist recommended, was to use a humidifier (I live in a very dry climate), as he thought that might make the dust settle quicker, rather than floating in the air. I tried that and it did help some, but I still needed mask, filter and gloves and when done, closed the door to the room and left the humidifier running and then had hubby vacuum up afterwards (which he was not thrilled with LOL!)

Given my own personal experience, I would be careful if I were you
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:45 PM
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DAK723 DAK723 is offline
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Re: Using pastels when pregnant? Is it safe? Suggestions?

I would use a regular dust mask whether you are pregnant or not. The main issue with pastels is the dust - which, if inhaled, can cause respiratory issues. And any type of work that produces dust whether it is woodworking or pastels it is good to keep the dust out of your throat and lungs.

Aside from the dust issue, I would speak to my doctor regarding what to avoid while pregnant. As long as you are not making pastels and dealing with unbound pigment (which can be dangerous) I cannot think of any reason not to use them, but I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet!

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Old 08-31-2018, 07:31 AM
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Re: Using pastels when pregnant? Is it safe? Suggestions?

Thanks for the suggestion CaliAnn. Iíve been meaning to buy a proper humidifier - I too love in a very dry climate. I bought a little desk one but it didnít seem to help that much - time to invest in a big one.
The dusk mask you use, is it a particular brand or is it one of those cheap disposable types?

Thanks for also replying Dak. It seems to be a 50/50 argument everywhere about using pastels when pregnant, so Iím still undecided.

Iím thinking maybe try to find out which colors contain dangerous pigments and them remove them from my inventory. This might be hard as I like realistic work, but maybe itíll give me an excuse to try my hand out at something bit more abstract (itís all about tonal value and not colour accuracy). Iím thinking I could get super creative and go for purple lemons and blue strawberries... hmm okay maybe too crazy 😛

Last edited by kat_skinner : 08-31-2018 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:47 AM
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Re: Using pastels when pregnant? Is it safe? Suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kat_skinner
Thanks for also replying Dak. It seems to be a 50/50 argument everywhere about using pastels when pregnant, so Iím still undecided.

If you are unsure, just stop using pastels. Might be a good opportunity to do watercolors. Or do some pencil drawings. It's only 9 months, after all (easy for me to say...)

Don
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:35 AM
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Re: Using pastels when pregnant? Is it safe? Suggestions?

I used pastels during all my pregnancy and my baby boy is healthy. I don't think this is a big issue if you open windows and use some mask. Outside in big cities, there is much more dust and dangerous particles (smog)...
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:38 AM
CaliAnn CaliAnn is online now
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Re: Using pastels when pregnant? Is it safe? Suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kat_skinner
Thanks for the suggestion CaliAnn. Iíve been meaning to buy a proper humidifier - I too love in a very dry climate. I bought a little desk one but it didnít seem to help that much - time to invest in a big one.
The dusk mask you use, is it a particular brand or is it one of those cheap disposable types?




It's just the cheap disposable ones you can get at any hardware store. When I do attempt any pastels now, I always do a watercolor under painting first - this does reduce the amount of dust a lot. Also, pastel pencils make less dust too. You might want to experiment before you get pregnant, how much dust you create based on how you use pastels. Maybe adjusting how/which pastels/method you use will help further in lessening the dust. Anyway, that's what I did and went from never being able to use pastels again - to being able to use them very moderately
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:58 AM
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Re: Using pastels when pregnant? Is it safe? Suggestions?

I used only pastels before I had kids. I think pastels are perfectly safe if you use them sensibly. Most pastels have no toxic pigments in them, but it is worth checking the brand you use. Without toxicity issues the only possibly problem is the dust. If you donít blow at your work and you work vertical, on an easel, it should not be a problem. the dust simply falls down on the easel ledge and does not get into the air at all. wet wipe or vacuum up now and then and you should be fine.

I did move to oils AFTER I had my babies though... not because pastel is toxic but because it is messy- every time my baby cries i had to wash my hands, every time the doorbell rang I had to wash my hands. It is much, much easier to just put your brush down and get back to it when you are done with stuff.
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