Cadmium-free colours



Liquitex will launch a new range of Cadmium-Free colours in 2017, giving artists a wider range of choice when selecting safe art materials.

Since their foundation in 1955 Liquitex have partnered with artists to ensure that they continually evolve and innovate. As there is no universal view on the potential harm of cadmium pigments Liquitex has chosen to acknowledge this and offer both alternatives side by side so that artists can make a choice based on their personal preference. Colart is proud to be the first in the market to introduce a parity performance Cadmium-Free alternative for health and safety conscious artists.

Colart is constantly reviewing product formulations to try to make them as safe as possible.  For example, due to the health and environmental implications of lead Colart has stopped using lead white pigments in our formulations. Colart is committed to developing safe and sustainable alternatives without compromising on the performance of the paint.

The Art and Creative Materials Institute Inc. Approval

The new Cadmium-Free range carries an AP (Approved Product) Seal from the The Art and Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI). The ACMI is an international association of about 200 art, craft, and creative material manufacturers which seeks to promote safety in art and creative products through its certification program. Colart is a member of ACMI.

ACMI-certified product seals (AP Approved Product and CL Cautionary Labeling) indicate that these products have been evaluated by a qualified toxicologist and are labelled in accordance with federal and state laws.

The AP Seal identifies art materials that are safe and that are certified in a toxicological evaluation by a medical expert to contain no materials in sufficient quantities to be toxic or injurious to humans, including children, or to cause acute or chronic health problems.

Development and testing of the cadmium-free range

The development of the new Cadmium-Free colours was the work of several Colart Chemists over a three year period, evaluating a huge range of pigments available internationally to discover the very best in terms of performance and match to existing Liquitex cadmium colours.

The Colart Innovation & Development laboratory applied several tests to demonstrate that the Cadmium-Free range is technically on par with the equivalent cadmium colours, for example:

 Lightfastness to assess longevity

 Colour mass tone for brightness and overall match

– Colour reduction 10:1 with Titanium White to compare colour strength and shade when mixed

– Viscosity and rheology for handling properties

– Specific gravity to test weight

 Opacity check over black and white test card to assess coverage

Artist Approved

Prior to the launch the range was rigorously tested not just in the Colart Innovation & Development laboratory but also with the end user: artists.

Liquitex identified regular users of acrylic paint and in particular cadmium colours for a series of tests. Each artist was given two identical sets of colour, one set containing genuine cadmium paint and the other containing Cadmium-Free.

The testing was conducted blind, without the artists’ knowledge of the difference between each set. They were allowed one month to work with and compare both sets. They were given a journal to keep throughout the assessment. None identified the fact that one set was Cadmium-Free.


Liquitex wants artists to experience first-hand that this is a true parity performance replacement for cadmium colours. Therefore the brand plans to invest in a robust communications campaign which will include digital advertising and a global social media campaign. The brand will also organise a number of demonstrations in-store as well as in the educational sector to make sure as many artists as possible get the opportunity to see the new range for first-hand. Alongside this Liquitex will provide informative point of sale materials for stores.

Visit the Liquitex website to find out more, and watch this space for specific launch date news.

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