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Hidden Dangers in the Recording Studio

There is something potentially hazardous in your studio that you might not be aware of. Nuts. Yes, I said nuts. I’m not talking abut the musicians. I’m talking about the snacks those nuts like to eat

More and more Americans are developing allergies to nuts. The reason is uncertain. Many speculate about genetic manipulation of our food. It seems to be largely a first world problem.  What causes the problem is irrelevant in this conversation though.

What is important is understanding that for some, it’s a deadly allergy. Nut allergies are some of the worst kind. Unlike dairy, nuts can travel by air. Not to mention people have a tendency to touch everything after they touch nuts. The residue or fragments can be problematic.

Cross Town Traffic

Often when you’re in the studio you share snacks. Cross contamination is a major risk. The smallest trace of a nut can have grave consequences.

Nuts are a staple studio snack for many. They are high in protein and it’s a quick and easy snack. But, if you’re a studio that has a lot of different clients coming in, they could be really bad to have around.


You must take airborne contamination seriously. A dairy isn’t airborne in the same way a nut can be. Nobody is going to be in trouble if there is a cheese plate sitting out. Well, in most cases. There are some that also have a deadly reaction to dairy.

If you’re running a commercial facility, you need to think about these things. You want to make sure your client has a great experience. Sticking themselves with an EpiPen and going to the emergency room is not a good experience.

Mr. Peanut

Consider this. You buy a bag of roasted peanuts and shell them in the room. Little fragments of dust fly into the air. That air enters other people’s lungs. The air becomes toxic.

Out The Door

My wife has a serious nut allergy. If we walk into a studio and see nuts, we have to leave. It’s not a choice, it’s a requirement.

When you run a business you have to be aware of the potential conditions of your clients. It’s likely that clients will be spending a lot of time in your environment.

It’s always good to have a conversation with a client a few weeks before they come in for a session.

It’s not just nuts you need to worry about. Some also have issues with incense or cleaning products. A singer who is always sneezing is not going to be at their best.


Cleaning Glasses

If your studio is big enough to have a kitchen area you have a few other things to be aware of. Washing dishes isn’t just putting some liquid on a sponge.

If you’re not careful, you could leave nut residue on a utensil. Or it can sit in the sponge to contaminate another item.

One way to deal with this is to keep some disposable utensils and cups around. You should do the green thing whenever you can. Have real cups and silverware. But, when someone comes that has allergies comes, make it easy for them to feel safe with non-contaminated cups and utensils.

I’ve seen the way some silverware gets washed in studios. I don’t have allergies and I don’t want to use it. The other point is to wash everything well. It isn’t college.


If you do have someone coming in that has life-threatening allergies, please clean. There is a good chance your studio needs cleaning anyway. Wash all communal areas with soap. A wet paper towel is not enough.

Air out your space as well. Vacuum all carpets. Wipe off all door handles. Think about everything your clients will touch.


If the client coming in has allergies, ask the other participants in the session to refrain from using the culprit allergen. For some, it could be perfume. We all know a person or two that uses way too much cologne or perfume. Their vanity can suffer for a short time in order for safety.

I make it a point to refrain from any offending allergens for a session. I can go an afternoon without my nuts … I mean nuts.

Awareness is key here. It’s not the client’s fault that they have a serious allergy. It’s time we all gain some education in the matter in order to keep each other safe.

Going the extra mile to be courteous to clients is never a gain-less effort. That sensitivity says a lot about your care for others. This says to everyone, “I’m here for you to have the best experience possible.”

You should always be thinking about long-term growth of your business. What kind of standard are you setting?

Mark Marshall

Mark Marshall

Mark Marshall is a producer, songwriter, session musician and instructor based in NYC. More at

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