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Golden Products Cause Cancer...

Posted by: Kylani Arrington on 01/24/2013 - 8:49 PM

Some of the Golden products I have have a warning statement that says "This product contains an ingredient known to cause cancer in the state of California".

I've been told my art professors to stop painting with my hands (I really don't feel in control when using a brush and it's more therapeutic that way) but I don't think I'll stop anytime soon...unless someone has some more information on the Golden product's cancer warning. What kind of cancer are they talking about? Do you have to have paint all over yourself everyday for years to develop that kind of cancer?

I'm not really worried about getting cancer from my paints... just curious more than anything else.



Most Recent Reply

Posted by: Kylani Arrington on 01/29/2013 - 5:37 PM

This was a very interesting thread and I think I'm done with it now. I wasn't really looking for people to attack my artistic professionalism, I was just curious about whether or not the Golden statement had any validity to it.


Posted by: Patricia Cleasby on 01/25/2013 - 7:04 PM

If it wasn't true, they wouldn't put it on the package.

Here's the company website:

"It's A Better Label
We have always believed that people have a right and need to know what chemicals they are working with, and that they should follow basic precautions when using any of our products. This approach is reflected on our labels, which give pigment identification information as well as general guidelines for safe use, and on our Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) which list hazards of product components without incorporating the use assumptions of toxicological risk assessment. We reinforce this message by explaining why. It's a lot of information to fit onto a label, but we believe it's the best we can offer. For more information, contact our Product Safety staff." Link:

No artist paint, including GOLDEN, should be used for body painting. Body painting is a cosmetic application and it is necessary to use properly labeled and formulated cosmetic paints. They will say "body paint" on the label and list their ingredients. Cosmetic manufacturers operate under entirely different requirements in terms of testing, sanitation and safety. In the United States, these products are regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and Artist Paints are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Golden Artist Colors, Inc.

This link will take you to the Golden website. There are links on the page that lists the toxic chemicals they use.


Posted by: Michael Hoard on 01/25/2013 - 7:02 PM

John you are correct use the non poisonous berries. Very good topic.


Posted by: Kylani Arrington on 01/25/2013 - 6:29 PM

I think it's really interesting the kinds of replies I'm getting from my original post.

The response I usually get from people is "If you're not living in California, you're fine".

Or I get the posts, and sometimes e-mails, that say that I'm unprofessional for painting with my hands. For those of you who think it's unprofessional: I urge you to put on some gloves and try it and tell me what you think. Don't knock it till you've tried it. It creates beautiful strokes and is extraordinarily therapeutic. It's a major technique in art therapy which is why I've been doing it that way.

For the record, I don't paint very often and I don't only use Golden products. I didn't put out the original post because I'm worried about getting cancer. I'm just curious if anyone else thinks it may be poppycock.


Posted by: Ken Krug on 01/25/2013 - 6:21 PM

My wife was using plug-in air fresheners here for a while. I kept looking around to see where the odor was coming from, it was pretty bad. At least I didn't
like it. Related, working with pastels can get pretty dusty, and it's on your hands, maybe under your nails.


Posted by: Andee Photography on 01/25/2013 - 12:56 PM

Bob Ross died from cancer.....makes me wonder if all his painting had anything to do with the cause if his death.

Sad if that could have lead to his death. never ends..the list of things that cause cancer. Just like these air

fresheners with formaldehyde in it. One lady at work fills the bathroom with that 4 times a day. I wear a mask

so tired of being on the forced side of that sort of pollutants!

Christine would be nice if everyone was informed no matter where they live!


Posted by: Christine Till on 01/25/2013 - 12:48 PM

Well, actually the California Proposition 65 label does not say
"This product contains an ingredient known to cause cancer in the state of California". It says:
"This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm."

I like it, because it gives consumers a choice to go for another product that doesn't include these toxic ingredients, and it puts pressure on companies to get rid of these dangerous chemicals.
I wished all states would give us this choice, not just California. Don't you?


Posted by: None None on 01/25/2013 - 12:35 PM

Dear Kylani, Illness comes from the mind. Your body responds to thinking. Good luck...


Posted by: Ken Krug on 01/25/2013 - 12:31 PM

Personally I wouldn't paint with my fingers, although it sounds like it could be fun. I read that even though
some paint labels may say it's non-toxic, doesn't mean it's necessarily so. As mentioned you could use latex gloves,
or nitrile gloves. You could also look into a skin barrier cream made for artists. I don't know if they're made for painting
with your fingers, or just incidental paint contact. You could use both. Gloves could tear, and you would end up unknowingly
having more paint contact. Definitely be careful should you ever spray-air-brush. The paint contains heavy metals and
pigment particles which become "atomized", and of course airborne. The labels warn against this, especially the cadmiums
and I think the cobalts, but who knows also about the other pigments used? Use proper ventilation.
I remember reading also that the cadmium used now is a form that is not as bio-absorbable through the skin, but I'd still be
careful there.
I paint in oils, usually, and avoid solvents as much as I can.
But as to your question, my advice would be, don't run with scissors, or paint with your fingers! :) (gloves if you do, my thinking)


Posted by: John Ayo on 01/25/2013 - 5:27 AM

Unless you pick the wrong berries. :)


Posted by: Michael Hoard on 01/25/2013 - 2:39 AM

My water colors are non toxic...


Posted by: Michael Hoard on 01/25/2013 - 2:34 AM

Down here in the south we only use organic paints natrual, all my water colors are colors extracted from berries, fruits, tea, etc etc etc....So I am an organic painter and damn good one go look at my work.....Organic water colors...


Posted by: Angelina Vick on 01/25/2013 - 2:07 AM general, all paint except for those made for skin are known to have carcinogens in them. (from what I have read and understood)

If you have to paint with your hands...use gloves. It's not worth doing it with bare skin.


Posted by: Megan Dirsa-DuBois on 01/25/2013 - 2:03 AM

As an aside, you might want to avoid eating any pacific seafood because there might be more danger to radiation exposure in the food your eating then in the paint your using, thanks to the Fukushima nuclear fiasco in Japan that is still ongoing!


Posted by: Gregory Scott on 01/24/2013 - 9:47 PM

I know that the chemical abusers known as "huffers" prefer gold spray paint because the chemicals in the aerosol spray give the "best" high. Unfortunately, they also do brain damage. So it may not be an issue of the pigments only, but also the solvents used. So I would suggest taking a good look at your ventilation systems if you do this sort of work often. Consider building a painting hood to contain and evacuate the fumes when using powerful solvents.


Posted by: Patricia Cleasby on 01/24/2013 - 9:31 PM

Acrylics aren't as bad as oils, but if it's called Titanium white, there is titanium in it. Cad red - Cadmium and so on. Painters can get sick because of the heavy metals, and if you start young and aren't careful you won't be able to paint anymore. If you are using your hands, you should try surgical gloves. It definitely seeps into your skin/blood stream. But what do you I know - I used to live in California, so I just make stuff up. ;
More seasoned painters can tell you better than I, but I think you should at least know your risks. If it's all over your hands, it ends up in your eyes, nose mouth as well.

Here's a link. It might be for house paint, but notice the caption Avoid If Possible. Under that are the paints we use all the time. Cobalt, Cadmium, titanium, .... I don't paint anything without Naples Yellow and it's way up on the toxic list, so maybe just good to know.


Posted by: Jeffery Johnson on 01/24/2013 - 9:15 PM

Yeah Was about to say if you don't live in California you should be okay.


Posted by: JC Findley on 01/24/2013 - 9:13 PM

You are OK cause you live in WA and it only causes cancer in California.


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 01/24/2013 - 9:03 PM

California is a weird state when it comes to this - they never tell you how much you'd have to eat drink or swallow to actually be affected. ten pounds of salt ingested at once will kill you - I don't know if it would cause cancer or not - but it's a possibility.

I suppose if you were really concerned you could use gloves - like doctors use.

Just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly, "I" think you would be ok - but I'm not giving anything here but a personal opinion. There will never be a real replacement for Cadmium Red. And I think they still use lead white in some artist paint.


This discussion is closed.