Occupational Health and the Arts

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Work in the visual arts, performing arts, and writing can involve exposures to occupational hazards, including hazardous materials, equipment, and conditions, but few art workplaces have strong occupational health resources. Literature searches were conducted for articles that illustrate these concerns.


Medical databases were searched for art-related health articles. Other sources were also reviewed, including, unindexed art-health publications, and popular press articles.


Information was located that described some exposed populations, art-related hazards, and resulting disorders. Anecdotal reports were used when more complete data were not available.


Health hazards in the arts are significant. Occupational health professionals are familiar with most of these concerns and understand their treatment and prevention. The occupational health approach can reduce the health hazards encountered by at-risk art workers. Additional research would benefit these efforts. Resources for further information are available.

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