lapidary health hazards - dust mask
lapidary health hazards - dust mask

Lapidary Health Hazards and Safety Tips


Whether you’re a new or experienced gem cutter, brush up on safety procedures. Learn about lapidary health hazards and how to prevent chronic health issues.

4 Minute Read

Avoiding Lapidary Health Hazards: Proper Ventilation and Protective Gear

The major health hazards lapidaries face are dust (inhalation, ingestion, and contact with the eyes) and dermatitis due to improper skin protection.

Proper ventilation is necessary for any lapidary or jeweler's workshop. Between dust and odorous chemicals, there's good reason to invest in a ventilation system. You may want to hire an HVAC expert to assess your particular needs.

Always ensure that your ventilation intake brings in clean air, not affected by car exhaust, chimney smoke, or another pollutant source. Take care of the system and replace the filters frequently to avoid clogging.

Dusts and mists produced from lapidary work should be sucked away as close to the source as possible. The closer, the better to avoid breathing in particles. An even more effective precaution, a glovebox will enclose entirely any dust and mists produced. It's better to have an enclosed system to contain the dust and mist than to try and fully enclose yourself.

Even with proper ventilation, wear a dust mask so that the particles that inevitably escape don't settle in your mouth or lungs. Tight-fitting safety glasses or goggles will protect your eyes from dust irritation as well...


Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

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