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Pigments with toxic heavy metals



The products listed below are not recommended for use in hospitals or schools.
Keep out of reach of children. Do not use during pregnancy.


First aid: If swallowed, seek medical advice immediately.

The following pigments contain toxic heavy metals:

  • Antimony - Naples Yellow, Antimony, Antimony Red.
    Longer cumulative effects can damage the lungs.

  • Arsenic - Orpigment, Realgar, Conichalcite.
    Acute poisoning can lead to death, cumulative effects can be carcinogenic.

  • Borates - Borax, Boric Acid, Viridian Green (chromium oxide hydrate green)

  • Lead - Naples Yellow, Lead White, Red Lead, Massicot, Zinc White (white seal), Galena, Colored glass powder, Lead Tin Yellow.
    Cumulative effects lead to lead poisoning and nerve damage.

  • Cadmium - All cadmium pigments 21010 to 21540 and 42050, 44500 and 44510 and some colored glass flours contain cadmium.
    The risk from the pigment itself is low. Burning cadmium pigments creates a toxic combustion product.

  • Cobalt - All cobalt blue, green, yellow, violet, smalt.
    The spinels cobalt blue and cobalt green are considered toxic in some countries, but not in others, according to various guidelines. Harmful if inhaled or swallowed, risk of cumulative effects.

  • Copper - Azurite, Malachite, Chrysocolla, Verdigris, Egyptian Blue, Han Blue, Ploss Blue, Blue Verditer, Phthalo Blue and Green.
    Harmful if inhaled or swallowed.

  • Manganese - Manganese brown, black, gray, violet, purple, umber.
    Cumulative effects lead to nerve damage.

  • Nickel - Nickel titanium yellow, Indian yellow imitation.
    Cumulative effects damage the kidneys and lead to allergic reactions.

  • Mercury - Vermilion natural and synthetic.
    Cumulative effects lead to poisoning and nerve damage.