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AWFUL MODS: Why your average polymer clay design is bad for your lobes, and your health! →



Here’s a good article that breaks down the ingredients of polymer clay:…of_phthalates/

Basic points of the article:

The qualities of polymer clay are due to its primary ingredient, polyvinyl chloride (PVC)—a type of plastic also known as vinyl. PVC is considered the most toxic plastic. During manufacture and when burned, PVC creates a highly toxic byproduct called dioxin, a potent carcinogen and endocrine disruptor.

In the case of soft PVC, such as that used in polymer clay, phthalates are added to make the PVC pliable. Phthalates are a group of chemicals that have been linked with birth defects, reproductive problems, liver and thyroid damage and other health problems. Some are believed to cause cancer.

Because of these qualities, those who work with polymer clay should protect themselves with gloves, a designated work area for clay only that is frequently cleaned, and a respirator when baking (curing) the clay. Fortunately manufacturers of the clays have begun reworking the ingredients and most now have less toxic plasticizers, as is required by CPSC CPSIA. Most people will probably think, “Kids put things in their mouths, I don’t. I’m not using the clay when it’s uncured, I’m wearing it after it’s cured.” 

Well, if polymer clay isn’t properly cured, the clay will remain moist on the inside which gives these toxins a chance to leech outward to the wearable portions of jewelry. It can happen really easily because even cured polymer clay is porous. The good news is that the Art & Creative Materials Institute teamed with Duke University Medical Center wanted to address safety concerns [source: ] and found that irritation is most likely to occur through ingestion and not skin contact. 

To summarize, properly handled/cured polymer clay should not be of danger to those that use or wear it. But because these studies were conducted in scientific settings that do not involve body modification, it is important to consider that piercings involve sensitive or compromised tissue. The safest choice is to wear the (properly cured) clay through eyelets of another material. Properly cured clay will be firm with a bit of give, but not flexible enough to bend, and of course not burnt or browned. The precaution I believe to be most important is keeping raw clay in a separated area from finished jewelry and materials. Changing gloves during production can help prevent toxins from uncured clay to transfer onto the wearable area of finished jewelry. 

As for “glazed” or “glossed” polymer clay, check out the ingredients. A popular Sculpey brand glaze has this on the label:

WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. WARNING: May be harmful if swallowed. Contains: N-METHYL PYRROLIDONE

Many others choose to use an Acrylic Coating spray fixative. We wear acrylic, so that sounds friendly, right? Here is a popular Krylon brand’s warning label:

CAUTIONS CONTAINS ACETONE, HYDROCARBON PROPELLANTS, TOLUENE, ETHYL 3-ETHOXYPROPIONATE, MEDIUM AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS … Causes eye, skin, nose and throat irritation. Avoid contact with eyes and skin.Wash hands after using.

It also lists the same California birth defect chemical warning. Moral of the story, skip the glazes, take caution with unglazed clay, never use this material in unhealed piercings, and choose a retailer that knows how to keep you safe. 

Think twice before you buy polymer clay from Etsy, a friend, or someone else who doesn’t undertake the specified standards that have to be done in order for polymer clay to be safe.

Written by the amazing BabyPie of BabyPieTattoo

The above is why I don’t find the clay “gauges” in your shitty little etsy shop to be amazing or awesome or otherwise ‘neat’, nor do I find your “home made clay tapers” to be a good thing.

THANK YOU. Some of the things on Etsy are pretty cute, but they’re also SAFE. Why, oh why would you ever think its ok to jam polymer clay into your ears?!

— 2 years ago with 65 notes
#stretched ears  #plugs  #tunnels  #polymer clay 
  1. lustforcorn reblogged this from awfulmodifications
  2. koknbawlz reblogged this from awfulmodifications and added:
    can’t u jes cover the wearable area w/tape tho
  3. chinnychinchinn reblogged this from awfulmodifications
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  12. vulgarspaceprince reblogged this from razorderockefeller and added:
    For those in the DIY community, specifically for jewelry crafts.
  13. razorderockefeller reblogged this from awfulmodifications
  14. piercedandhooked reblogged this from awfulmodifications
  15. hunky-bat reblogged this from queerrose
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  17. captain-galaga reblogged this from calleo and added:
    THANK YOU. Some of the things on Etsy are pretty cute, but they’re also SAFE. Why, oh why would you ever think its ok to...
  18. flaryhe reblogged this from awfulmodifications
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  20. calleo reblogged this from awfulmodifications and added:
    The above is why I don’t find the clay “gauges” in your shitty little etsy shop to be amazing or awesome or otherwise...
  21. solemntree reblogged this from awfulmodifications