We have just heard from Howard Oakley, the artist who submitted a lengthy technical paper to the EU about the proposed cadmium ban in artists paints, that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have decided to not go ahead with the ban, for now at least. The efforts of all who left comments on their website and got the word out to other artists means we will have the colours so many of us need for our work.
The ECHA concluded that artist’s paints are a minor contribution to the overall cadmium input with a negligible level of risk and “that the proposed restriction is not justified because in reducing the risks from cadmium in artists’ paints alone, this restriction under REACH is not considered to be the most appropriate EU wide measure”.
Dr Oakley mentions his concern that while many individual artists wrote opinions, very few organizations presented arguments or studies. He says: “I fear that this is not the last such threat. Cadmium will return, and cobalt and other substances will reach the agenda in the future. If there is no-one prepared to present the case for painters in the UK or EU, we will always be easy targets.”
Read these earlier articles to learn more about the Proposed Cadmium Ban.