Originally published October 25 2014
Europe to ban cadmium in art pigments
by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
(NaturalNews) Cadmium has been used in paints since 1840; it brings out the brightness and intensity in colors, but inside the body, this heavy metal brings out the dark side of human nature, hardening the spirit and withering the bones.
In the human body, cadmium is brutal to the musculoskeletal system, out-muscling calcium for absorption. By depleting the bones, cadmium makes way for skeletal fractures and osteoporosis later in life. How does cadmium find its way into the body? Why are higher concentrations of this heavy metal showing up in foods today? A strong source of cadmium is found in nickel-cadmium batteries. As the batteries break down, the cadmium enters the soil, contaminating soil and water. Batteries are not the only source of cadmium pollution; the heavy metal is also present in paints.
Leaders in Sweden have found out why cadmium might be entering the food and water supply so readily. In a restriction report submitted to the European Chemical Agency in 2013, the government of Sweden claims that cadmium is spreading through agricultural land through sewage sludge tainted with the heavy metal. How is cadmium making its way into the sewage? Sweden health officials propose that it's getting there because artists are rinsing their paint brushes in the sink. The acrylic, oil and watercolor paints being used by the European artists are full of cadmium pigments, and they're being washed right down the drain.
Europe to ban cadmium in paint pigments, forever changing artIn the next two years, all that could change in Europe, as the EU considers taking cadmium out of all paints. This could change the artist's palette forever, altering the brilliant hues in their red, yellow and brown colors.
Discovered around 1820, cadmium became the main component for creating bright and intense pigments. By 1840, it was commercialized and became a staple ingredient in artist's paints. For example, Claude Monet's famous yellow hues were created using cadmium pigments. A cadmium ban would dull the hues of artwork forever, as paint makers find a way to intensify the hues without using toxic heavy metals. Most importantly, though, the ban would help keep a personality- and bone-destroying heavy metal out of the fields, out of food and out of human anatomy.
"Any good paintings that have lasted a hundred years, which is from the Impressionist period onwards, if they have a good yellow, orange, or red, they were made with cadmium pigments," said artist Julia Brooker. "It has the purity, the light fastness, and it keeps its brilliance the way other colors just don't."
Many artists are angered, as a ban would forever change the color of their creations. Michael Craine, the managing director of Spectrum Artists' Paints says that "[Nickel-cadmium] batteries are the real problem, it's just an easy fix to ban everything with cadmium in it."
A new standard for lower cadmium levels in the world would increase human potentialUnder current regulations for the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program, cadmium levels in paint are restricted to 0.01 percent. A new regulation in 2010 would have knocked the limit down to 0.01 percent. Now the EU is looking to make cadmium virtually nonexistent in art pigments. The rule does not consider cadmium's occurrence as an impurity in recycled copper, which is also used in certain paints.
Still, the new standard could keep cadmium pigments out of sewage sludge, out of agricultural land and out of the food that people eat. Nutrition education is not just about what nutrients can do for people. Sometimes it's about learning how to keep the destructive heavy metals out of the body. Some elements, like cadmium, restrict optimal absorption of nutrients in the human body. Cadmium is like a dark, evil force, restricting human potential. When it's eliminated form the body, humans are more structured, peaceful, open and compassionate.
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