I did mention on my snow dyeing posts that you need to wear gloves and a mask when working with these fiber reactive dyes. These dyes are chemicals and because they are powders they can become airborne and could cause you harm.
Here is the warning on the Procion MX Dye label:
WARNING: Potential eye and skin irritant. Avoid eye contact, wear rubber gloves and us a NIOSH-MSHA approved mask for dust. Use common sense and good housekeeping when handling the dye and powder. Avoid creating dust and use in a well ventilated area. Adult supervision required for use by children. Suspect pulmonary (lung) sensitizer. Keep out of reach of children.
I asked Kathy Sands, a local artist who uses fiber reactive dyes in her work and her workshops, for her advice on working with these dyes. Here is her response:
“It is important that a dust mask be used when handling powdered dyes. The dyes are very fine and travel easily. Wear gloves when handling and use a dust mask and all will be fine. Working within the confines of a box set on up on its side when mixing the powders can minimize the traveling aspect and is recommended. As soon as the powder is mixed in solution and any spilled powder is cleaned up, one may remove their mask.”
As with any chemical, take precautions. Use in a well ventilated area – outside would be even better. Be sure and have dedicated measuring spoons for the dyes. Wear gloves. Be safe and then have fun!