Sunday, February 8, 2009

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Amu Designs endeavors to make the best choices possible, to ensure both personal health, and the health of our planet, right down to the colours we choose.

Certain pigments (even with the expanded knowledge base of the information age) still contain toxic substances and heavy metals.

The trick is to read the labels, even trusted brands make products with surprising ingredients.

When considering what paints to buy, there are certain things to look for. Purchasing products which have one of the logos of the ACMI is a good place to start. ACMI is the Art & Creative Materials Institute, a Non-Profit Organization which evaluates and certifies art and creative materials as non-toxic, that also meet the voluntary standards of quality and performance.

Some other key words to watch for and avoid are:
Lead (yes-they still use it!)
zinc sulfide

If you don't see one of the ACMI logos, you can find out more about the pigments used by investigating the colour index number or pigment code listed on your paint. It will appear as a pair of letters followed by a number ie: PO49

You can find more information on pigment index numbers at

Note: Paints with the word "hue" at the end of their name are actually substitutes for the original, and are usually non-toxic. For instance, Cadmium Yellow Hue contains no actual Cadmium Yellow, but is usually a blend of the non-toxic Arylide Yellow G and Arylide Yellow 10G.

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