First things first, don’t put anything into your mouth. Some artists like to bite off the tip of the paint tube when opening them. This is totally wrong. If you haven’t already know, there is a pointed tip on the back of the cover of the tube which is designed and made specifically for you to poke a hole onto the sealed top to allow the paint to flow. So use that.
Then there are artists who like to use their mouth to ‘sharpen’ the tip of the brush. Never ever do that, no matter how new or clean you think the brush is. New brushes are less hazardous but they are equally as damaging in the long run. If you have washed the brush thoroughly and think that it is clean enough to use your mouth, then you are wrong. Paint residue might still exist and you might risk swallowing them. You might not feel it now, but you could just feel it in the future.
A common practice among artists is to eat and drink while painting. It might still be acceptable when you are painting but if you are working with sculptures and installation art, the problem is that dust and other micro-organism might be flowing in the air and into your food. Another bad practice is to place your coffee or drink next to your bottle used to store your brushes. Mistakes happen and it might just happen to you without you realizing it.
Ventilation is very important. It is more important if you are working with oil paint or spray medium. If you are using solvents, ventilation must be a priority. It can either be a ventilation fan or you should be working in a more open space or near the window in order for the smell or any other residue to flow out of your studio. As with any other crafts work, ensure that you clean your hands thoroughly after each session, even if you are planning to continue on later.
To avoid any skin irritation, wear gloves or protective gear when possible. For some people, skin irritation or allergies might be developed over time and you never know what you could contract when working with different types of art material. Try when you can to use material which are of better grade and avoid compromising this in terms of price and cost. Most importantly, keep your art material away from the reach of children because they might find them to be novelties and could just put them into their mouths.