Category Archives: Glass Safety

News and tips on glass safety and safety concerns of the stained glass industry


Some Info from The Frog Blog

Dichroic glass is so beautiful and there are so many uses, it is just delightful.  However, there are a few problems that knowledge can help deal with.

One is that it is impossible to tell 96 from 90 COE if you get them mixed up.  The answer to this one is—DON’T mix them up.  Keep them labeled.  If you keep scrap, keep it in a well-marked box.

It is often important to know which side the dichroic coated side is to get the look you are going for.  If it has a dark base, no problem—you can see it.  However, on a transparent base, it can look the same on both sides!  Reasons you may want to know this?

Cutting.  Always cut on the non-coated side of the glass.  It will help prevent chipping, especially on textured glass.  It also saves your cutter.

Coated Side Down.  When using the coated side down or capped with clear glass, the dichroic glass will have a smooth glossy surface and sparkle like glitter.  It will also change colors between the transmitted color and a completely different reflective color, depending of the angle of view.

Coated Side Up.   If you use the dichroic glass with the coated side up or uncapped, the dichroic surface will have a highly metallic sheen.  The piece may additional be rough and textured depending on the type of dichroic glass you are using.

This is what to do.  Place the glass over a dark background.  Look at the glass at an angle so that you are seeing the reflection of the dichroic.  Touch the surface with a paperclip (don’t scratch it).  The paperclip will reflect.

To know your answer.  Does the reflection meet the paper clip, or there a gap between the clip and its reflection?

Tips from the Glass Academy: Working with Powder Frit on Sheet Glass

Safety and Tips for Using Powder Frit in Your Fused Glass Art

The following information is from Bullseye Glass Co.

Working with fine-grade glass frit achieves a unique hazy effect that melts beautifully on virtually any fused glass project. By painting with glass powder on sheet glass you can achieve a unique, multifaceted shadow or glow, delicate patterns, and fascinating organic etchings on your sheet glass.

Step 1: Taking Proper Safety Measures for Working with Glass Powder

Glass frit can be extremely dangerous and should be used with caution, especially when working in fine grade frit and in large quantities. Dust from glass frit can irritate and damage the lungs, so you should always wear a Niosh approved P100 or N95 respirator.

Step 2: Prepare Your Workspace

Make sure you line your workspace with paper to collect any glass powder overspill. As with any fused glass project, you’ll want to make sure your materials are ready and that you know the appropriate firing temperatures for your fused glass project.

Step 3: Set Your Stencils or Templates

A stencil or template can be purchased or can be hand-made. If you’re making your own template, be sure to use paper board or a heavy paper weight. Keep in mind that glass powder will weigh down the paper and ruin the stencil when you remove it, so you’ll want something that will stay flat when you pick it up.

Step 4: Sift Your Glass and Layer Accordingly

You can use a sifter to create smooth and even glass layers. The higher you hold your sifter, the more evenly the glass frit will fall. When you sift initially, you want to be sure that the powder layer is sufficient for your desired effect. Thicker layers can allow for deeper textures to be etched into the surface of your sheet glass.

Step 5: Sculpt Lines and Shapes into Your Glass

Various tools can be used to help you achieve crisp or rugged lines and textures. Opt for hard, sharp points and edges to create detailed textures with your powder frit, and use paint brushes for soft, blurred, or blunt edges and sides. For perfectly acute edges you can use a razor blade, which scoops the powder into a sharp, crisp line. We recommend experimenting with different brush, blending stumps, and blending tools to see what works best.

Step 6: Sift Again for Shadows

Sifters can be used closer or further from your lines to develop layered, shadow effects on your surface. Coupled with fine and rough edges, you can create a beautiful 3-dimensional work of fused glass art likened to charcoal sketches.




Bullseye Glass Environmental Update

The following is a letter from Bullseye Glass Co, released this week.

Photo courtesy Bullseye Glass Co

Photo courtesy Bullseye Glass Co

An Update on Our Baghouse Filtration System and Production Levels

September 13, 2016—Last February, Bullseye Glass learned about concerns related to potential emissions from our factory. We took swift and immediate action: voluntarily suspending the use of certain materials and working with experts to help us find the most effective technological solution for filtering our furnaces. We share our customers’ and the public’s interest in air quality and support stronger environmental standards for our industry.

Here are the actions we have taken: In March, we began the process of designing and installing 99% efficient baghouse filtration systems, beginning with a pilot baghouse on one furnace in April. In early July, we received components and began installation of a state-of-the-art, dual-control baghouse on eleven furnaces for safely producing glasses that may contain chromium, cadmium, nickel, lead, manganese, and arsenic. We completed installation at the end of August. This system is now up and running.

We have started installing a third baghouse that will allow the system to cover an additional seven furnaces. This proactive investment will ensure that emissions are controlled and will allow us to continue to make a beautiful palette of colored glass into the future.

At this point, we have resumed production of 80% of our product line. We hope to resume making glasses that contain chromium (primarily greens) in early 2017, once we have completed additional testing and received DEQ approval. See below for styles that will remain suspended through early 2017. Meanwhile, we have formulated four new chromium-free transparent green styles, and will continue to formulate new green glasses that are not dependent on chromium.

We are working to ensure compliance with the new regulations. By remaining focused on the task at hand, we plan to make our full product line available as soon as possible.  We sincerely thank all of our customers for your patience and support over these last six months. With your continued support, we will accomplish these goals.

With gratitude,
The Team at Bullseye Glass

Styles suspended from production through early 2017
(Some of these are still in stock and when not they may be available as half sheets, thins, irids or curious.)

0101       Stiff Black
0108       Powder Blue
0112       Mint Green
0117       Mineral Green
0119       Mink
0126       Spring Green
0131       Artichoke
0132       Driftwood Gray
0141       Dark Forest Green
0144       Teal Green
0145       Jade Green
0148       Indigo Blue
0206       Elephant Gray
0207       Celadon Green
0208       Dusty Blue
0212       Olive Green
0227       Golden Green
0241       Moss Green
0312       Pea Pod Green
1107       Light Green
1108       Aquamarine Blue
1112       Aventurine Green
1118       Midnight Blue
1126       Chartreuse Green
1140       Aventurine Blue
1141       Olive Green
1145       Kelly Green
1207       Fern Green
1241       Pine Green
1406       Steel Blue
1408       Light Aquamarine Blue
1412       Light Aventurine Green
1417       Emerald Green
1419       Tan
1426       Spring Green
1444       Sea Blue
1449       Oregon Gray
1806       Juniper Blue Tint
1807       Grass Green Tint
1818       Indigo Tint
1826       Green Tea Tint
1829       Gray Tint
1841       Spruce Green Tint
1844       Lavender Green Shift Tint
1877       Olivine Tint
1977       Pine Green Tint
2026       Clear, Spring Green Opal
2100       Clear, Black Opal
2107       White, Light Green
2108       Powder Blue Opal, Marine Blue
2112       Mint Opal, Deep Forest Green
2121       Yellow Opal, Deep Forest Green
2140       Aventurine Blue, Clear
2212       Olive Green Opal, Forest Green
2941       Warm White, Pine Green Cascade
3026       Cranberry Pink, Royal Blue, Spring Green, White
3045       Azure Blue, Jade Green Opal, Neo- Lavender
3086       White, Turquoise Blue, Midnight Blue
3100       Clear, Black, White
3123       White, Orange Opal, Deep Forest Green
3126       Cranberry Pink, Royal Blue, Spring Green
3203       Woodland Brown, Black, Driftwood Gray
3212       Olive Green Opal, Forest Green, Deep Brown
3345       Cranberry Pink, Emerald Green, White
3501       White, Deep Forest Green, Carmel Opal
4010       Spring: Blue, Green, Aqua and Pink on White
4014       Autumn: Orange, Yellow, and Red on White
4100       Black Streamers on Clear
4110       Spring: Blue, Green, Aqua and Pink on Clear
4112       Summer: Green and Yellow on Clear
4114       Spring Green, Deep Pink on Clear
4116       Light Pink, Green and White on Clear
4117       Green and White on Clear
4128       Deep Pink, Plum, Spring Green, Aqua, with Pink Streamers on Clear
4136       Black Frit with Black Streamers on Clear
4152       Forest Green Streamers
4171       Black and White Streamers
4200       Black frit, Black Streamers
4212       Dark Green, Spring Green, Yellow Frit, Spring Green Streamers
4217       Dark Green, Jade Green Frit, Dark Green Streamers
4218       Gray and Black Frit, White Streamers
4400       Black Chopstix on Clear



Letter from Uroboros Glass

The following is a letter from Uroboros Glass:

Dear Uroboros Friends,

There is no doubt we have started a new era in colored glass making. Change is inevitable, but we all know that this difficult shift will not deter any of us from pursuing our passion for this art in as safe a manner as technology can provide. At the end of the day, the glass arts will be safer for all, guaranteed, and that is good news for everyone!

Although plans for a new emission control ‘baghouse’ are now in hand, we are still working on securing the capital required to fund it, along with setting up some energy conservation credits, tax abatements, and the like. With a 12 week installation expected, the earliest we can now predict to be back in full production is at the end of October. However, we‘ve found some clever (but temporary!) work arounds to keep more colors than we expected flowing in the meantime. We do have colors back in stock now that we didn’t have just a few weeks ago. Check in with your favorite supplier! Need to find a supplier? Click here.

We’re also excited to report that we are already able to fulfill customer requests for some Spectrum colors! For one client we were able to match 10 of the 12 colors desired – from formulas we already had in our palette! So please ask us directly or through your dealer if you can’t get what you need anymore from Spectrum. We plan to keep you posted as their stock runs out and we begin to produce specific Spectrum color matches.

We know you already miss the super smooth Spectrum sheet surface, and it’s not even gone yet! We do too! But are you aware we’ve made strides over the last couple of years improving the smoothness of our hand rolled fusible sheets? The Spectrum closure has added a new urgency to our ongoing efforts to push the limits of hand rolling techniques for fusibles, and to find out just how smooth and glossy we can get them. So stay tuned on this one!

We are fully committed to carrying on the both the traditional Uroboros and System 96 product lines, as well as building upon the strength of the brands and their distribution network. We’re doing everything in our power to ensure the future of art glass is a bright and colorful one!

Best Regards,

Eric Lovell


Uroboros Glass

Tips from the Glass Academy: What is Cadmium?


So, What is Cadmium?


Cadmium has been a very active word in the stained glass industry since traces of it were found in the vicinity of the Bullseye and Uroboros manufacturing plants.

Do you remember memorizing that chart at the front of your chemistry room? The Periodic Table of Elements was the name. I wonder if they are still in the front of chemistry rooms or if they have been replaced with something digital! On that table Cadmium is Cd and atomic number is 48. It is a metal. It is soft, bluish-white and similar to zinc and mercury.

Cadmium hit the news when it was discovered it was in McDonalds “Shrek Forever After” themed drinking glasses. That led to a nationwide recall. From the site Livescience: “A very small amount of cadmium can come to the surface of the glass, and in order to be as protective as possible of children, CPSC and McDonald’s worked together on this recall,” said U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson. The glass that McDonald’s had was using cadmium in the red and yellow pigments on the cup’s painted designs.

Cadmium is a natural element in the Earth’s crust. It is present in miniscule amounts in all soil and rocks. Because it does not corrode easily, it is primarily used in batteries. It is also used in metal coatings, platings, pigments and as a stabilizer for plastics.

It is also a known carcinogen. With long-term exposure, it has been shown to cause severe kidney problems, including kidney failure and secondarily, bone softening and have adverse effects on the lungs. It is presently at alarmingly high levels in cigarette smoke. Cadmium levels in body tissue shows that smokers have roughly twice the amount of this toxic metal in their bodies as do non-smokers. Health effects have generally not been encountered under normal exposure conditions for the general population except in areas of historically high cadmium contamination.

It has been in the stained glass news recently because as early as 1850, cadmium-sulfide based pigments were used because of their brilliant red, orange and yellow colors. They appeared prominently in the paints of Vincent van Gogh. When cadmium is combined with sulfide it results in deep yellow. When it is combined with selenium and sulphur you get bright red and orange.

~ Janet


Tips from the Glass Academy: Safety News


Safety News

A news story broke on February 10th, 2016 about high levels of cadmium and arsenic in the air in Southeast Portland, Oregon. This was reported by the Department of Environmental Quality.
The Oregon of Environmental Quality has developed a website to keep people updated. Click here to visit the Oregon DEQ website and learn more.

According to this site, on February 4th, Bullseye Glass notified DEQ that it had suspended all glass manufacturing operations at its facility that use cadmium and arsenic compounds. They have also engaged an environmental consulting firm to evaluate the data.

These heavy metals have been linked to serious health problems including cancer. It is a large concern in Oregon as the emissions are just blocks away from schools and a city park. The concentrations for arsenic found were about 150 times higher than the benchmark concentration.

One week after Bullseye announced it had suspended its use of cadmium and arsenic, Uroboros announced it would stop making red, yellow and orange glass colors because they rely on the use of cadmium.

On February 4th, Uroboros issued a statement about their safety practices. They stated:

• They have not used arsenic in over 20 years.
• They do use cadmium for many of the yellow, orange and red colors, but they do not use it in raw chemical form. They use a smelted glassified material, so there is not dust to release.
• In 2009, when schools near Uroboros had Cadmium in the air, it could not be traced to Uroboros.

As Oregan works to ensure the safety of its citizens, we can expect to see a shortage of some red, orange and yellow glass!

~ Janet



Tips from the Glass Academy: Glasses for Glass Work


Glasses for Glass Work

Glass blowing safety glasses are essential for most glass work, especially if you do it regularly.

The types of light that glass workers need to protect against are sodium flare, ultraviolet (UV) light and infrared (IR) light. There are filters to protect against several combinations of these harmful waves. IR and UV are not visible to the naked eye, but they are harmful and should be protected against. Sodium flare is very bright, so most people realize right away that they’re going to need protection.

The most common:

  • Light green lenses are typically used by people doing off hand glassblowing, glory hole work and furnace work.
  • Dark green lenses are typically used for quartz working.
  • ACE 202 lenses are also called didymium lenses. They are typically used for torch work associated with bead making and silver soldering. You can view them on our website by clicking here.


  • Green ACE lenses are used for working with borosilicate glass. They are called “boro” lenses and are available in different shades. These lenses block sodium flare and UV and IR. View them on by clicking here.




Tips from the Glass Academy: Burner Safety Information


Burner Safety Information

• Always melt glass on a fireproof surface

• Clamp your torch to your work surface

• Have a fire extinguisher handy

• Wear eye protection at all times

• Use heavy-duty hoses appropriate for your torch

• Use hose clamps and tighten them regularly

• Mark sure your regulators are working properly

• Use flashback arrestors with pre-mixed torches

• Chain your oxygen tanks to avoid accidents

• Keep grease and oil away from your oxygen fittings

• Test for leaks using soapy water. If you have bubbles, tighten your connections.

• Always use adequate ventilation when working

Dragon Pic for Burner Safety Info Tip

Tips from the Glass Academy: Safety – What Makes a Flux Dangerous


Safety Tip—What Makes A Flux Dangerous

Acid flux types may contain hydrochloric acid, zinc chloride or ammonium chloride, which are harmful to humans. Therefore, flux should be handled with gloves and goggles, and used with adequate ventilation.

If you think something is bothering you when you do stained glass, it probably is not the solder, it is probably the flux.

What can you do?

  1. Wear gloves and wear goggles.
  2. Have a well- ventilated area. You can buy a fume trap which, will draw the fume away from you through a filter.  We currently are stocking the Weller Fume Trap (Item # 23201).
  3. Have a fan blowing the fumes away. It is an inexpensive second choice but it also cools your solder and may create problems. You have to get it just right. Close enough to blow away the fumes but far enough away so your solder is not cooling too quickly.
  4. Choose your flux carefully. We actually carry SIX types!
  • Canfield Soleic Acid. 1035. Acid being the danger word. This is not the one to get if flux bothers you.
  • Fluxomatic. 1028. Contains zinc chloride, but is non-acid. Again not the one to buy if flux bothers you. This one is a gel and many people like that. Great for 3-D projects because of the viscosity.
  • Canfield Blue-Glass Flux. 1060. This one contains zinc chloride and ammonium choride. It is non-acid. Again not the one to use if flux bothers you. People do love this one because it cleans up so nicely. It is said to be non-irritating without toxic fumes but it does contain two of the “bad” chemicals.
  • Glastar Flux. 14000CS. This one contains zinc chloride. It is said that it does not have unpleasant fumes. This happens to be the favorite one in our studio. It is gel like but not too thick. Cleans up nicely and works great. Recommended to use on your solder tip cleaning sponge!
  • La-co Brite Flux. 5016. This one is considered a “safety flux”. Non acid and no “bad” chemicals.
  • Safe Art Systems Safety Flux. 50192. This one is clearly labeled that it contains no zinc chloride, no ammonium chloride, no hydrochloric acid. It is low fuming, low smoke and low odor.

We keep all our Material Safety Data Sheets on the desktop of one of the computers at the front desk. If you want a copy of one, just ask.