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Ever wonder why there is an EPA or OSHA, or why people get concerned if someone opens up a paint shop in their local neighborhood garage, or even why Professionals get excited when some amateur sets up business. Take a minute and think about the contents of this magazine, what self subscribed artist wouldn’t want to be a part of this… I’d like to insert a few lines out of an article written by Scooter at Top Gun Studios. This is a small narrative of a statement or question, which he heard, and raises some pretty interesting thoughts:
“I’ve always drawn, and I’m pretty good at it. I got my first airbrush two months ago for Christmas, and Dad took me out and got me a ¼ hp air compressor from the hardware store. I found a really neat magazine about airbrushing at the art store while I was there buying four, 8 ounce bottles of airbrush paint. The magazine had lots of great stuff in it, and there were articles in it written by people who get paid to airbrush…imagine, I can get paid to do something fun. I know I can, those writers said so, and they even showed “how” to do some things. I went right home and painted some t-shirts! My neighbor saw the t-shirts, and he really liked them! He just came over and showed me his new $30,000 Harley, what a nice bike! He wants me to paint something on it for him! I’m really excited, this could be my big break…can you tell me how to do it and what to do first?”
Even though this example happens to be related to airbrushing, how many questions like this are posted on Internet BB (Bulletin Boards) on a daily basis, be it pin stripping, vehicle painting, or other related processes. Scooter goes on to talk about the effect this scenario has on all of us, if his individual is not given good sound direction and steered clear of a $30,000.00 Harley for his first Job! If you would like to read Scooter’s full article and many others written by some fine artist, you can visit his international web site at www.planetairbrush.com. Scooter also has a set of 10 Commandments that, while written for airbrushers, definitely applies to all phases of our craft.
What about the safety aspect of this scenario? Maybe this is the “Why factor” in its infant stages. Suppose the young individual in our example doesn’t get the help needed and goes it alone, botches the job, gets discouraged and dumps the paint down the drain and gets ride of the airbrush. Yes, dumps the paint down the drain, or maybe, he or she, tosses the paint in the garbage. Nobody said it was a bad thing, let alone illegal. Worse yet, the individual could have gotten some automotive paint and some catalyst, headed out to the garage and is know in the hospital overcome by fumes or worse. While we have talked about almost all of these factors in previous articles, what about waste products? What do you do with them? Again, I must give Scooter credit for bringing this subject up in a recent reply to a question about safety on another Bulletin Board. Because this is an international magazine it would be wrong to assume all country’s handle Hazardous Waste in the same manner as we do in the United States, so the important point to all of this, is that Professionals who deal with these issues on a daily basis should present them to individuals when they are helping them get started or just responding to a post on some BB. Individuals who are just getting started and posting these questions should do everything they can to research all of the aspects of the task they are getting ready to do. Know your responsibilities. What are the laws, do I need a permit, how do I get rid of the waste products, solvent or water based, how much product can I have on hand and how must it be stored? HOW MUCH MORE MUST I CHARGE FOR THIS JOB IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THESE REGULATIONS? No one wants to sit all day in traffic while a hazmat team investigates the gallon of solvent leaking out of a garbage truck because someone just tossed it in there normal garbage. Imagine spending a lot of time and money visiting your doctor and the hospital only to find out the guy that had the house before you was a painter and used to dump his solvent waste products in his back yard, right next to the well! It happens, this is WHY there is an EPA, and WHY we should all be asking these questions of the people we are mentoring. At least give them the information and hope that they choose to use it wisely!
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