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art materials safety

updated tue 22 nov 05


bill edwards on thu 17 nov 05

Art material producers need to comply with ASTM rules and regulations. Being a member of ACMI means they have viable proof made public through this group that the company has used ASTM testing to certify their products. Also these products will have been re-tested within a matter of a few years to continue their voluntary certification labeling through whatever group they choose to use.. I doubt that Duncan or any other group listed with the ACMI has been capable of putting anything through the system without a close look by their toxicologists since their up-dates are automated and the reminders for each sub-group or group of materials in question comes up for reevaluation. Any changes within the composition of the materials also means a new re-evaluation without waiting out the automated re-evaluation process for consistency of the product.

Also you do not always get Non-Toxic status. There are several other precautionary rules of labeling based on the product for safe use and handling. A manufacturer isnít required to be certified specifically by this one group nor for all Non-Toxic complainces. Safe use rules and labeling come into effect.. A manufacturer must meet the standards the government sets using ASTM protocol for testing their products and doing toxicological examinations and reports. These evaluation can be done by any lab and or toxicologists that are licensed to practice and have an active certification for practice.

The ACMI can be accredited for putting a noticeable face on products and for making it a priority that companies who wish to remain in good standing using ACMI labeling, also be completely up to date with regulatory compliance by their continuance of having their materials analyzed for safety in order to use their well known record for safety in the art market place. There are countless many art manufacturers that do no have their products licensed by the ACMI that are perfectly within regulatory compliance as stated above and are not breaking any laws. I was a smaller company, my products were all ACMI labeled. I went up against much larger and more richer companies that werenít ACMI certified but legally they were just as capable to produce using the ASTM protocol as I was using. There is no monopoly on regulatory groups yet so the manufacturer is allowed to shop their needs so long as they can produce viable proof they are following the rules as stated for testing

and evaluation. It doesn't mean they are saving any money either, actually they may possibly be spending even more in the long run.

The best thing a person could do is to go to their (ACMI) site and read what its about. But keep in mind that making a broad public notice that would appear to be coming across as a company potentially doing something wrong is opening up a can of worms and can be costly to a company when exchanges sound as if the company may not be in compliance when in fact the opposite would be more likely to be true. A large company is not going to risk their business, their insurance or their name and not have a toxicologist group and labs testing their materials based on ASTM methods and government regulations.

Laguna has a quick launch MSDS program for their materials. Also they have a direct inquiry email address for anyone needing more information. I do not hold stock or have any close friends there but in defense of their status, I am compelled to answer since I am well aware on how regulatory compliance rules and regualations apply. Let Laguna or Duncan or any of the others have a fair say and always ask them first about their method of toxicity testing and such first. If they aren't in the flow of legally binding rules it can then be checked and challenged. This board isn't the place to decide that publically unless there is more than a percieved threat or a potential problem regulators may have missed, and I doubt that to be wide-spread if at all in modern day American marketing and production. You can bet a product that goes on the market without testing has a shorter shelf life than one without a biocide and the penalties are steep for doing business without
complying where dangers or any kind could be attributed to a product.

Talk to your manufactuer first. Be specific, I paid a high price for all these protective measures and was always most happy to discuss everything I could without giving away propriortary information. And if you start checking you will see countless art products that simply say Non-Toxic, complies with ASTM-D4236. No seals from a particular group because our governing system doesn't dictate who we have to use in order to justify the materials be cleared for market, just safe to use based on the labeling and or any hazards that come with the product and tested for such accordingly.

Bill Edwards
Edmar Studio and Gallery
302 South Main St (Shipping)
POB 367 (Mailing)
Camp Hill, Al. 36850

"Those that matter don't mind, and those that mind don't matter"

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Sarina Grey on mon 21 nov 05

Re: regulations for lead (and other heavy metals) in ceramics, ASTM
testing, etc., the web site has some great
resources. Has anyone had any legal concerns outside of generally wanting
to sell safe products? Especially in CA?