Does one of the most artistic professions come with a wide array of health hazards?
A free lecture about the health hazards of painting will be the subject of a free public lecture tonight at the Rockport Art Association at 7 p.m.
Dr. David Vastola, of Rockport and Florida, will speak on "Hazards Within The Art Community" as a public service lecture for the hundreds of artists who live on Cape Ann.
The solvents and paints, both oil and acrylic, commonly used by artists can pose health dangers, Vastola said. The paints and canvasses may contain preservatives and other toxic elements. Vastola is a board certified physician in internal medicine and gastroenterology. His talk will focus on the toxicology of the materials most artists deal with and the harmful effects on their health. He has researched how changing nutritional and behavioral habits can be beneficial in preventing cancer and other diseases caused by toxic materials. "I see a disturbing trend of illness that may be linked to environmental elements and chemicals associated mainly with the painting industry," he said. "I will give a thumbnail of my experience with environmental disease and exposure, and what people can do."
Vastola, who also paints, said the need for precautions extends beyond the artists themselves, and includes the galleries and others.
Vastola is an adjunct professor of medicine in the Department of Pharmacology at Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he currently teaches the course "Nutritional Therapies," and previously a course in "Anatomy & Physiology." He is the author of a soon-to-be-published book titled "Fountain Of Youth -- Nutritional Therapies."
A question and answer session will follow the lecture. In the tradition of the historic art association, wine and cheese will be served.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at email@example.com.
Art Hazards What: Free public lecture: "Hazards Within The Art Community" by David Vastola When: Tonight: Wed., Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. Where: Rockport Art Association at 12 Main St. in downtown Rockport. For more information, call 978-546-6604.