Williamsburg Health and Safety Updates

Williamsburg Dry Pigments have recently been evaluated for conformance to ASTM D 4236 and have been appropriately labeled in order to be suitable for household use. The exception is Cadmium pigments, which, due to their potential hazard when inhaled, are now restricted to Professional Use Only, and are not available through stores or available for household use.

Labels of the Oil Mediums have been revised to reflect the danger of spontaneous combustion. If oily rags are left wadded or piled up, such that the heat of drying can not dissipate, they can become hot enough to self-ignite. This risk is eliminated if contaminated rags are stored in an air-tight metal container or individually spread out and hung up for drying.

Pictogram indicating danger of spontaneous combustion.

Pictogram indicating
danger of spontaneous

Cobalt color labels no longer carry lengthy health warnings, in order to better reflect the insoluble characteristic of the pigments used, and the paints’ subsequent lack of bioactivity. Cadmium colors also no longer carry lengthy warnings based on the current stance of cadmium pigment manufacturers and European regulatory status. They will continue to carry the warning that “this product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.” The European Chemical Agency will be compiling and reviewing data on cadmium pigments in the future, so the current classification may change.

Williamsburg Flake White and Lead Oil Ground labels have been corrected to indicate that inhalation of the paint vapors during normal use is not hazardous, while continuing to emphasize the toxicity associated with ingestion. Also, lead containing products intended for European and other countries with similar labeling requirements are now labeled with appropriate Risk and Safety Phrases and symbols indicating the products. toxicity and environmental impact.

Updated Material Safety Data Sheets for Williamsburg paints, pigments and mediums are available at

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