The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently published its final decision that Cadmium pigments will not be restricted in artist paints.
You can read the entire document here:
In two previous issues of Just Paint we shared information concerning the possibility of Cadmium pigments being banned in artist paints. Just Paint Issue 4 (October 1996) detailed regulatory requirement changes for the use and disposal of Cadmium based pigments due to environmental and health concerns. Also discussed were the potential restrictions on their use in artist paints and potential alternatives.
More recently, Ben Gavett, Regulatory Affairs Director at Golden Artist Colors wrote a follow-up article in Just Paint Issue 32 (February 2015), describing the process and results of an attempt to ban cadmium in artist colors in Europe, the reasoning behind it, and the response from both within the artist community and by those responsible for determining whether the ban would be implemented.
As part of this process, a survey was created to solicit feedback around two themes of the restriction proposal: whether there are suitable substitutes for cadmium pigments in fine art and to what extent artists avoid washing cadmium down the drain.
The survey was circulated via direct email [artists were also encouraged to visit the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) website and submit comments directly]. We received over 1,500 survey responses. Thank you for your interest and participation in the survey. The response was certainly notable, confirming your collective effort to minimize environmental impact.
Again, thank you for contributing to the dialogue, participating in the process and sharing your viewpoint.
Subscribe to the newsletter today!
Share Your Thoughts
Click here to share your feedback about Just Paint.
3 thoughts on “EU Decides Not to Ban Cadmium Pigments in Artist Paints”
Thank goodness commonsense has prevailed.I think it is rather odd that the E.U.were worried about Cadmium finding it,s way into the food chain when they have allowed agriculture to pollute many areas of watercourses with powerful agrichemicals for years .As far as I am concerned there is no comparable substitute to Cadmium in Artist paint.
When I first started (acrylic) paint classes (2016), I scoured the internet for all of the info I could find. Because of my background in science, I was particularly impressed with guidelines re heavy metal exposure and contamination. I brought this to the attention of my instructor because, at the end of class, we were all dumping our rinse water down her sink and throwing our copious rags (paper towels) in regular waste cans while throughout class, munching on finger foods we brought regularly to class. She said that she never heard of such guidelines and that I really shouldn’t be concerned about this. Since then, I have asked everyone who paints what precautions they use, and most of them look at me as if I were an alien from space!
Yes, I would hate to see restrictions on the production of toxic pigments, but these toxins are a big deal: no one I know uses the proper methods of safety and safe disposal around them. I’m sorry that the EU didn’t ban them, as many artists who should know better ignore or are ignorant of safety guidelines.
We always like to hear from artists, thank you for sharing your perspective!