Dust is usually the biggest concern when working in the ceramics studio. To minimize the creation of dust, wet mop the floors rather than dry sweeping them. Use a wet sponge to wipe down the tables instead of the hand brooms. Whenever possible, use water to dampen a surface prior to cleaning it, as this will keep the dust from getting into the air. If it appears dusty, always wear a dust mask.
Respirators / Dust Masks
Whenever you use any dry materials or you are sanding or grinding, ALWAYS wear a dust mask. Make sure the mask has a rating of at least P95. If you are using a standard dust mask with elastic straps, the mask MUST have TWO straps. If it only has one strap, it may not have enough filtration to protect you.
Dust mask: A dust mask like the one to the left (of the image) is enough to protect you against the most common occurrences of dust exposure.
Respirator: If you think you may pursue ceramics beyond an introductory level, it is recommended that you purchase a P100 respirator. A P100 respirator filters a higher amount of particulates out of the air and has replaceable filters. Most hardware stores have respirators for about $35. Before purchasing a respirator, always look for the filter rating – it should say “P100” somewhere on it.