It is common for an art student to show up for the first day of painting class and discover that other students in the room will be brushing with various solvents such as turpentine, mineral spirits, and odorless mineral spirits (OMS). In the last painting class I attended, two students left on the first night because of the fumes. These solvents are assumed to be part of the artistic process, with painters working in rooms without ventilation, using materials that can cause serious reactions — materials that are illegal in schools and restricted in the general workplace. Further, the art stores are largely unaware of these problems, not selling protective masks, gloves and coats that would normally be required in the workplace.
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