Safety testing & labeling
All Liquitex products are submitted for independent toxicity assessment under the program administered by the Art and Craft Materials Institute (ACMI) in Boston and conform to USA Federal Law governing the labeling of art materials. All of our products carry the relevant ACMI certification seals on their packaging - these are either CL or AP Seals. You can also find Materials Safety Data Sheets for each product on the relevant product pages of this site.
Approved Product Seal
Products bearing the ACMI's Approved Product Seal are certified in a program of toxicological evaluation by a medical expert to contain no materials in sufficient quantities to pose a health risk or to be deemed injurious in accordance with current medical knowledge and as long as the materials are used in the manner intended. This program is reviewed by the Institute’s Toxicological Advisory Board and products are certified by the Institute to be labeled in accordance with the chronic hazard labeling standard ASTM D4236, and the US Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA).
Cautionary Label Seal
The ACMI's CL Seal identifies products that are certified to be properly labeled in a program of toxicological evaluation by a medical expert for any known health risks and with information on the safe and proper use of these materials. This seal replaces the old HL Health Label (Cautions Required) Seal. These products are also certified by ACMI to be labeled in accordance with the chronic hazard labeling standard, ASTM D4236, and the US Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA).
These regulations, introduced in the 1960’s, cover all products available to the industry or the general public within the EU. This system classifies dangerous substances into one of the following classifications: TOXIC, HARMFUL, CORROSIVE, IRRITANT, OXIDISING, EXPLOSIVE, FLAMMABLE or DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. There can be various levels within a classification, for example, Very Toxic or Extremely Flammable. Most levels of classification have accompanying symbols and “Risk Phrases” and/or “Safety Phrases”. Any artists’ material, which falls into one of the above classifications, must be labeled accordingly. The two most common classifications in artists’ materials are Harmful and Flammable. The risk and/or safety phrases will vary according to each product.
There is no direct relationship between the EU and USA systems of health labeling as the categories used have different levels and limits, eg., Flammable in the USA is not automatically considered as Flammable in the EU. USA ONLY labels may appear on products in the EU as Liquitex products are sold internationally. However, artists in the EU are advised to follow EU labeling.
Safe studio tips
Here’s some tips to keep you safe and minimize your environmental impact in the studio:
While you're working
- Keep your workspace well ventilated, ideally with fresh air, particularly if using solvent or sprays
- If using a spray, wear the relevant mask. Even with our low-solvent, low-odor Spray Paints we recommend the use of a paper mask as the spray action causes dust and particles to rise into the air
- The most environmentally safe way to use acrylic paint or medium is obvious: only squeeze or scoop out what you need, rather than having lots to dispose of after a session in the studio
- Don’t ‘point’ your brush in your mouth. Swirl it in a cup of water instead
- Try to wash your hands before eating, drinking or smoking in the studio. You never know what will end up on your hands and then get swallowed inadvertently
- Avoid getting solvents onto your skin
- If you paint with your fingers be aware that you may be driving pigment into and through your skin
- If you’re working with acrylics it’s a good idea to set up a specific acrylic waste bin (or old paint tin) in the studio so you can keep everything together and dispose of it safely and responsibly
- After painting, before it’s had a chance to dry, return any loose color/medium back into its container and then wipe off your tools and palette with a paper towel or rag (an old toothbrush is good for thicker consistencies). Put the dirty wipes into your acrylic waste bin