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Buglips's Guide to Drybrushing


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"Nontoxic" apparently actually means "nontoxic as long as you are using them the normal way." That is, they don't... release noxious fumes? Consuming them in any manner might still be a bad plan.None of which stops me from using my fingertips to test wash consistency, of course.

Actually, "nontoxic" means "does not fall into the category of having been tested and found toxic."

 

Note that this does not require any actual testing before a substance is given the "nontoxic" label.

 

To put it another way, all chemicals are presumed to be nontoxic until and unless they are tested and discovered to be toxic.

 

What if they are never tested? Well ...

 

Most art supplies have never been properly tested. The chemical industry has little incentive or requirement to test industrial chemicals for toxicity, so on the whole it does not.

 

While it is likely many substances used in the arts today are in fact harmless, it is unwise to presume that "nontoxic" is any kind of certification of safety.

Huh, even more meaningless than I thought then!

 

(Partially related: in the studio art class I'm taking, we're painting with artists' acrylics. One color that has been popular is Cadmium Orange. I mentioned something about it being very toxic, to the point of even prolonged skin contact being a bad idea, and was told that it was totally harmless as long as I didn't eat it. Thoughts?)

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"Nontoxic" apparently actually means "nontoxic as long as you are using them the normal way." That is, they don't... release noxious fumes? Consuming them in any manner might still be a bad plan.None of which stops me from using my fingertips to test wash consistency, of course.

 

Actually, "nontoxic" means "does not fall into the category of having been tested and found toxic."

Note that this does not require any actual testing before a substance is given the "nontoxic" label.

To put it another way, all chemicals are presumed to be nontoxic until and unless they are tested and discovered to be toxic.

What if they are never tested? Well ...

Most art supplies have never been properly tested. The chemical industry has little incentive or requirement to test industrial chemicals for toxicity, so on the whole it does not.

While it is likely many substances used in the arts today are in fact harmless, it is unwise to presume that "nontoxic" is any kind of certification of safety.

Huh, even more meaningless than I thought then!

 

(Partially related: in the studio art class I'm taking, we're painting with artists' acrylics. One color that has been popular is Cadmium Orange. I mentioned something about it being very toxic, to the point of even prolonged skin contact being a bad idea, and was told that it was totally harmless as long as I didn't eat it. Thoughts?)

An inaccurate assessment, although apparently recent formulations of cadmium pigments have been made less soluble in the human body. Arsenic is also relatively benign if you do not eat it. Caution is still a good idea.

 

http://www.goldenpaints.com/justpaint/jp4article2.php

 

"Animal studies have shown that cadmium pigments are potential carcinogens when inhaled, which is why they carry the warning, "do not spray apply". They are not believed to be toxic by ingestion if they are of low solubility as determined by laboratory testing. Over the years, pigment manufacturers have produced cadmium pigments of progressively lower solubility of both the cadmium and selenium in efforts to increase safety. The solubility tests are designed to mimic the pH, temperature and agitation that would be experienced in the stomach. However, detractors from this theory correctly point out that there are other mechanisms at work in the body and that these analyses should not be considered entirely conclusive. Therefore, while use of low solubility cadmium pigments diminishes their toxicity, there is still reason to treat paints made with cadmium pigments with extra care and to seek alternatives."

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"Nontoxic" apparently actually means "nontoxic as long as you are using them the normal way." That is, they don't... release noxious fumes? Consuming them in any manner might still be a bad plan.None of which stops me from using my fingertips to test wash consistency, of course.

Actually, "nontoxic" means "does not fall into the category of having been tested and found toxic."

 

Note that this does not require any actual testing before a substance is given the "nontoxic" label.

 

To put it another way, all chemicals are presumed to be nontoxic until and unless they are tested and discovered to be toxic.

 

What if they are never tested? Well ...

 

Most art supplies have never been properly tested. The chemical industry has little incentive or requirement to test industrial chemicals for toxicity, so on the whole it does not.

 

While it is likely many substances used in the arts today are in fact harmless, it is unwise to presume that "nontoxic" is any kind of certification of safety.

 

::o:

 

I'M GONNA DIE!!!!!! (Totally a brush-licker. Keeps 'em nice and pointy, also gets rid of excess water.)

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So, Pingo, questions because I found it hard to believe you need not to test something to verify is it non toxic...

 

ASTM D-4236 only requires that certain known components NOT be present in certain quantities, to give the "Non Toxic" determination?

 

ACMI AP / CL labels mean that the product was actually submitted to ACMI and tested? If so, a product labelled ACMI AP is really non-toxic?

 

My Vallejo Acrylics only have the ASTM label plus a note stating they do not contain a number of chemicals. What do Reaper's say in their labels?

 

Too bad the actual letter of the ASTM D 4236 needs to be purchased; I would have loved to read the actual norm and legislation.

 

Do you have links? The only ones actually expressing serious concerns in the line of what you said I could find are dated 1980s...

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Thanks, Buglips. I have done a fair amount of dry brushing in the past, but I never stopped to think about the appropriate brush technique. Based on your taxonomy, I usually use "drag" strokes, mixed with a small amount of "fan" work. I need to try out your techniques, especially on some larger models.

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Buglips,what's your take on a 'paint rag'? I never knew fuzzies and flakes were a problem because an old washcloth is all I've ever used. It's a bit harder to get paint off for dry brushing but it saves the cash, is soft and absorbant and convenient for clean up. I'm wondering if any potential trauma can happen to my new winsor brushes if I continue to use my rags. (Of course the winsors aren't for dry brushing but when I rinse brushes I slide them gently on the cloth to get rid of excess water).

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Buglips,what's your take on a 'paint rag'? I never knew fuzzies and flakes were a problem because an old washcloth is all I've ever used. It's a bit harder to get paint off for dry brushing but it saves the cash, is soft and absorbant and convenient for clean up. I'm wondering if any potential trauma can happen to my new winsor brushes if I continue to use my rags. (Of course the winsors aren't for dry brushing but when I rinse brushes I slide them gently on the cloth to get rid of excess water).

 

 

I'm not a Buglips, and I'm nowhere near as experienced... but if the cloth is soft, and you manage to avoid having crusty paint built up on it which could add 'tooth' and potentially damage the hairs, I don't see that it would necessarily be any more damaging to brushes than cheap paper towels. I would think if you reuse the same rag, depending on how it's washed and cleaned, there could be potential buildup of crusties in the fabric, which is the only real potential problem I see from that.

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"... The solubility tests are designed to mimic the pH, temperature and agitation that would be experienced in the stomach. However, detractors from this theory correctly point out that there are other mechanisms at work in the body and that these analyses should not be considered entirely conclusive...."

 

 

Yeah, one of the biggest problems that drug manufacturers have is that the gut is remarkably good at ripping chemicals into their components. Since the "cadmium" part of cad red or whatever is toxic by itself, that's not a good thing for cadmium paint ingestion. (See also lead white, etc.)

 

But cad red sure is beautiful. ^_^

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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