Cadmium Crisis Update –
We would like to thank all those who have already taken the time to write their Cadmium comments on the Environment Agency website and we would like to urge others to do the same. ECHA (European Chemical Agency) website
Our Cadmium Crisis email newsletter and blog post written by Michael Craine of Spectrum Paints has created quite a stir and thousands of emails, posts and tweets are circulating the internet. Michael has been trawling through these and would like to address some of the points raised to date.
1) The art world uses cadmiums of low solubility to make the small risk smaller still. They are sufficiently safe that we all make casserole in pots that are painted in cadmium orange and yellow. Even the EU themselves admit that the paints we make using the pigments we select are not considered hazards under REACH. One correspondent tweeted that she would like metals generally to be taken out of paints… however, if we were to do that, where would that leave the building blocks of painting: titanium and zinc white?
2) Some tweets, suggest that we should take environmental direction from USA paint makers, however, the USA still permits the use of lead, which really is a genuinely dangerous chemical.
3) I enclose the laboratory results (below) that I believe will rebut the arguments that alternative pigments are just as good. The difference in opacity is very clear and doesn’t need any more explanation. The difference in tinting strength is also very clear. The test about light fastness also is clear, except from the lemon yellow. Due to its shade, the difference in light fastness is not so clear. Currently we are also testing the pure yellow and we expect that this will show a more clear difference in light fastness.