Acrylic and Oil Paint = Cancer?
Recently, I heard that these paints can cause cancer. From what I've read, the chemicals get absorbed through the skin.
Now I'm paranoid because I love to paint. D:
If I just keep it off my skin will I not have a chance of getting cancer? Or are the chemicals breathed in too?
- virginiaLv 43 years agoFavorite Answer
That is a misled conclusion and is only true in some cases. Both acrylic and oil paint (and watercolor, guache, tempera) are simply a color pigment combined with a binder or "vehicle". For example, oil paint is pigment combined with linseed oil which is just as safe as vegitable oil. Acrylic paint is called so because it's binder is essentially a form of plastic.
So the only time one of these paints is dangerous, it is because the particular pigment used is dangerous. So only certain colors of artist's paints are toxic. For example, when you buy a tube of "cadmium red" paint, the pigment used is called cadmium and is a cancer causing metal. Thankfully, there are many synthetic alternatives that will give you the same color but is harmless. When you see the word "hue" after "cadmium red/yellow" it usually means they used a synthetic version.
The toxic pigments won't cause a dangerous fume but contact with skin is dangerous so many artists wear gloves when they paint. The only other thing you have to watch out for is when using solvents when oil painting, turpentine for example is a solvent often used to clean oil paint but it's fumes are toxic. Thankfully again, there are also alternatives for solvents like Gamsol made my Gamblin and is much safer.
- LANLv 73 years ago
Isn't it funny how many times we see posts almost exactly like this where someone claims to have seen or read "somewhere" that something causes cancer, yet they never link to a valid source to back up this claim? Unless your source had any credibility then I would ignore it.
- Serene ELv 73 years ago
Heard from whom??? A reputable research facility? Some stranger on a website?
- Mark IXLv 73 years ago
Sounds like total bullshit to me. However, show us your source for this claim (you surely have one, you read it apparently) and we'll check out the validity of the claimant.Source(s): Painter