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The Health in Arts Program                                  
and Online Health & Safety in the Arts Library

UIC University of Illinois at Chicago                  CONTENT | SEARCH

by David Hinkamp       

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c o m p e n d i u m

The Health in the Arts Program is a comprehensive program for diagnosing, treating and preventing injuries and illnesses that are related to work in the arts. It is a program of the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health in affiliation with Cook County Hospital Division of Occupational Medicine.

The program is directed by David Hinkamp MD, MPH who is board certified in Occupational Medicine and Preventative Medicine, and is on the faculty of the School of Public Health. Dr Hinkamp established the Chicago Blues Coalition's health program and has been the Chair of the Arts-Medicine Section of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine since 1991.

Katherine Duvall MD, MPH, MS,
is board certified in Occupational Medicine, and is on the faculty of the School of Public Health. Currently Dr Duvall is conducting research regarding health needs of artists. Dr Duvall has a background in performing arts.

The mission of the Health in the Arts Program is to diagnose, treat and prevent arts-related disorders among people working in all aspects of the arts. There is increasing recognition that work in the arts can involve health risks such as exposures to toxic materials and hazardous physical conditions. Injuries and repetitive motion disorders can also result from practice and from work in the arts.


Medical specialists in this program treat arts workers with health concerns that may be caused by their work or affect their ability to work. These specialists also work with the arts communities to investigate and prevent hazardous work practices among art students, hobbyists and professionals. The focus of these efforts includes:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of arts-related disorders
  • Education on hazards in the arts
  • Workplace safety and hazard control
  • Research on the causes and prevention of arts-related disorders

The Online Health and Safety in the Arts Library

many of the most relevant topics are now included

on 'nontoxicHub', click here:

c o m p e n d i u m

The following is a list of the type of articles relating to printmaking and safe practice that can be accessed online. The Library contains many more articles concerning the visual arts and other art forms: music/musicians; theater and the performing arts; film and television etc.

the site covers a wide range of topics, such as:

Lithography, Intaglio and Relief Printing

Silk Screen Printing

Using a Safer Mordant Intaglio Etching on Aluminum and Zinc

Solvents Used in the Arts

Health Hazards of Solvents

Material Safety Data Sheets

Controversy Over "Non-Toxic" Label

Reading Label Warnings on Art Materials

Miscellaneous Health and Safety Resources

Outline of Art Safety: Hazards and Precautions

Chicago Artists Resource (CAR)

Over 250 articles on health and safety issues for artists, originally published as part of the

Art Hazard News
, are also available on the newly renovated CAR website.

Articles are organized into the following sections: 
  1. Art Materials        

  2. Professions       

  3. General Safety and Health        

  4. Health Effects/Disorders

  5. Special Subjects           

  6. Local Health and Safety Resources           

  7. Glossary of Terms