•The secret to cool bodies and glazes is a lot of testing.
•The secret to know what to test is material and chemistry knowledge.
•The secret to learning from testing is documentation.
•The place to test, do the chemistry and document is an account at https://insight-live.com
•The place to get the knowledge is https://digitalfire.com
Ball clays are hydrous aluminum silicates of approximate formula Al2O3, 2SiO2 2H2O. They are inert (insoluble, non-flammable, non-decomposing, non-polymerizing) and non-toxic by ingestion. See 'Silica' for more information.
Ball clays contain free quartz, in some cases up to 25%. Do not breathe dust. Prolonged inhalation even at low levels may cause delayed lung injury (silicosis). Follow guidelines for Crystalline Silica (Quartz).
IARC Monograph Volume 42, 1987 concludes that "there is a limited evidence for the carcinogenicity of crystalline silica in humans". IARC classification 2A. The NTP Sixth Annual Report on Carcinogens, 1991, has added crystalline silica to its list of substances that are "reasonably anticipated to be carcinogens".
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By Tony Hansen