Many art materials contain ground metals. These materials come from rocks which have colorants that are powdered. Without our knowledge some of this are very hazardous to one’s health. Inhalation is usually the route of concern. If they were in a liquid form its harder to breath them in. The finer the particles, the greater the danger of inhaling them.
Here are some examples of Toxic Metals in Art Materials:
- Antimony – This is usually used in water colors. When inhaled it can cause damage to the heart and lungs. Ingestion of this toxic metal can cause kidney damage and respiratory failure. It can also cause skin ulcers when in contact with the skin.
- Arsenic – This was often used in the past. However today, there are still products that have this ingredient. This is very corrosive when in contact with the skin. It can damage the nervous system, kidneys and the mucous membrane.
- Cadmium – This is poison by inhalation and when ingested. It causes internal organ damage. It is also known to cause lung and prostate cancer.
- Chromium – It is also known to be carcinogenic. It causes lung damage and may irritate the skin.