Hazards

  • Certain arts and crafts supplies may contain toxic materials; inhalation, ingestion and skin contact may present a health risk.
  • Certain solvent-based products may be flammable.
  • Certain products contain heavy metals that cause hazardous emissions from waste-to-energy facilities.

Handling

  • Know the contents of the materials you use; ask your supplier for a Material Safety Data Sheet or hotline for the product.
  • Look for warning label on the product. Art materials should be non-toxic if the manufacturer has appropriately labeled the product AP (approved product), CP (certified product), or HL (health label).
  • Use with caution, wear goggles and/or rubber gloves if needed.
  • Provide fresh air to your work area and wear appropriate mask, if needed.
  • Avoid procedures that create dust. Use wet sanding or vacuum equipment to minimize dust levels.
  • Clean up wet spills with absorbent (kitty litter, vermiculite or rags). Keep cleanup materials in closed metal containers and away from heat sources to prevent spontaneous combustion.
  • Reduce hazards during mixing of clay, sanding, and glazing by using exhaust ventilation, such as a spray booth.
  • Use brushing or dipping methods when possible rather than spraying or airbrushing.
  • Use up products such as glues, adhesives, and solvents according to directions.

Management Options

  • If you have no further use for the product and it is in usable condition, try to give it away to someone who has a use for it.
  • Do not dispose of toxic art and craft supplies down the drain

Aerosol Containers (empty or partially full):

Empty Non-Aerosol Containers and Hardened or Solid Non-Toxic Products:

  • Dispose of these in the trash.

Liquid Non-Toxic Products:

  • Evaporate or absorb liquid with cat litter or other absorbent and dispose in trash.

Toxic Products:

  • Leftover paints containing toxics, such as cadmium and chromium, should not go in the trash. Overpack in tight container if danger of leaking. Save these materials for a household hazardous waste collection day or take to a commercial hazardous waste facility.
  • Dried up toxic paints and adhesives can be put in the trash.

For more information about handling and disposal of arts and craft supplies, visit Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety (ACTS) or call the organization at 212-777-0062.