EU Denies Restriction of Artists’ Paints Containing Cadmium

The Commission of the European Union (EU) has affirmed an opinion by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) that cadmium contained in artists’ paints does not pose an unacceptable risk to human health and, therefore, should not be restricted.

The decision stems from 2013 dossier submitted to the ECHA by Sweden, requesting the restriction of cadmium in artists’ paints under the provisions of EU Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 on the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals (REACH). The dossier expressed concern that cadmium from artists’ paints could be released into waste water during the routine process of cleaning paint brushes and containers, eventually ending up in sewage sludge used to fertilize certain agricultural crops and potentially contaminating food products.

In reviewing Sweden’s dossier and request for further cadmium restrictions, the ECHA determined that the risk presented to human health associated with potential cadmium from artists’ paints was negligible, and that the economic impact of the proposed restriction “was not proportional to its socioeconomic benefits.” This finding was ultimately sustained upon further review by the Commission.

Read the complete text of the Commission’s Communication on cadmium in artists’ paints.

Photo by Tomas.Quinones

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