This short survey was generated to identify which fluxes are being used by jewelers and metalsmiths internationally. The survey was used as an indication not only of which fluxes were being used, but also whether the safety and sustainability of flux was a concern.
1. Which flux do you use in your studio?
2. Why do you use this flux?
3. Do you know/understand the ingredients your flux contains?
4. What personal protective equipment do you use with your flux?
The survey was completed a total of 81 times by Jewellers and Metalsmiths who reported being from Australia, the United States of America, The United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Italy. Of all the fluxes, Handy Flux was identified as the most commonly used among survey participants, at 29%.
When asked why participants chose the flux they use common responses included that it was what they were taught with and due to familiarity with the product they have continued to use it. Other participants identified that they preferred a paste flux or the flux they were using for a particular consistency or purpose. Of all responses, only 12% of participants stated safety was a consideration when choosing their flux, the majority of these specifying their choice is a fluoride free flux.
Despite so few participants indicating health and safety as a concerns when choosing their flux, 54% of participants claim to know and understand the ingredients their flux contains.
This lead us to ask what personal protective equipment was being used when handling these dangerous chemicals. 35% of participants stated they have a ventilation system in their studio, while only 26% use safety glasses and up to 28% identified that they use no personal protective equipment.
These results will be used to contribute to the formulation of an informative poster. The poster will highlight some of the chemicals contained in flux, and what personal protective equipment is recommended.