Like photography chemicals, many art supplies are toxic. Some dyes, pigments, paints and glazes contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium or mercury. Rubber cement, paint thinner and turpentine use solvents. Here are safer alternatives:
- Choose water-based glues, paints and markers.
- Clean brushes and other art supplies with baby oil.
- Thin paint with linseed, walnut or poppyseed oils.
- Use dyes from plant sources such as beets and onion skins.
- Wear gloves and an approved safety mask while making art.
More about natural art
• A student artist at the University of Kansas turns 1,000 water bottles into an eco-sculpture.
• Blank walls and a tight budget? Check out these tips for creating cheap wall art.
• Find out how to make a wall mosaic out of recycled cardboard boxes and reeds.