Health & Safety
Artists should always be aware of potential health and safety hazards in the studio. Some paints when in powder form can become highly toxic. When using varnishes or binders, artists are encouraged to apply adequate ventilation and wear protective gloves. Certain pigments are known to have trace components which are carcinogenic and artists should always wash hands after use and avoid touching the face, chewing the paint tool handle or smoking (because of the risk of ingestion).
Colours containing known carcinogens include: Chrome Green, Chromium Oxide green, Emerald Green, Scheele’s Green, Viridian, Cadmium Barium Orange, Cadmium Orange, Chrome Orange, Mercadmium Orange, Cadmium Barium Red, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Vermilion Red, Cobalt Violet, Antimony White, Barium Yellow, Cadmium Barium Yellow, Chrome Yellow, Strontium Yellow, Zinc Yellow.
Colours that are toxic due to ingestion include: Antimony Black, Calcium-Strontium Sulphide Blue, Burnt Umber, Hansa Orange, Marcadmium Orange, Para Red, Toluidine Red, Vermilion Red, Barium White, Zinc-sulphide White, Zinc White, Cobalt Yellow, Toluidine Yellow, Bronze Powder, Copper Alloy, Gold Bronze Powders.
Disclaimer: This information set forth above is based on public domain information that is believed to be reliable.
Toxic Nation Healthy Artist Guide to a Less Toxic Studio [click to download]
This guide looks at common artists’ materials, explains the hazards of their use, and discusses safe alternatives. [from Environmental Defence]