While I don't want you to panic and think your crystals are going to kill you, it's important you use good safety practices when working with, storing, and handling your rocks. That's because crystals can and do contain toxic substances like lead, antimony, strontium, copper, aluminum, arsenic, and others.
It's one of the reasons you seldom see me talk about crystal elixirs - because I am concerned without the proper safety measures in place, someone is going to pop a toxic crystal into a glass of water and drink it. I'm actually covering the topic of making and using safe crystal elixirs in my upcoming book and crystals class in Portland (Feb. 25, 2018), and I may make a video for this blog at some point, as well. However, in the meantime, if you do make crystal elixirs, PLEASE look up the safety information for the crystal you are planning on using before you do so.
Some other common sense safety tips for using crystals:
- Always wash your hands after handling any of your crystals.
- If you are crystal shopping and holding lots of crystals, wash your hands before you eat anything (or put anything in your mouth).
- Don't get your crystals wet (or feed them after midnight) unless you know how they hold up to water. Getting certain crystals wet can cause them to leak toxic materials.
- Store crystals well away from children and pets. Some crystals look like candy to kids, and you don't want them to eat them. And some pets will eat anything.
- If you know a crystal is particularly toxic (like chalcanthite, which contains copper and sulfur or vanadinite, which contains vanadium - I have both of them, by the way), you may want to consider wearing gloves to handle it and placing it somewhere that you are more likely to look but not touch.
- If you are particularly sensitive to substances, look up a crystal before buying it to ensure it doesn't contain anything that might be toxic. In fact, when in doubt, look it up. My book Crystals for Beginners offers a basic list of potentially toxic crystals, and I'll have a much more comprehensive list in my upcoming book.
- If you work with crystals to shape them, make jewelry, perform lapidary, etc. be sure you use proper safety equipment, including goggles, gloves, and eye protection.
- If you accidentally shatter a crystal by dropping it, be sure you vacuum the area so pets don't sniff or eat the shards.
- Avoid dropping heavy crystals on any body parts, like your foot or your head (ask me how I know).
So, in summary...don't be afraid of your crystals unless the super sharp or heavy ones are in the hands of a violent killer who is coming after you and using them as a weapon. However, do use caution when working with them because they may contain toxic substances. Wash your hands, don't eat or drink them, and be smart. If you have questions about a specific crystal, please feel free to contact me (my FB Author Karen Frazier page is your best bet), as well.