Art Supplies


  • Certain arts and crafts supplies may contain toxic materials; inhalation, ingestion and skin contact may present a health risk.
  • Certain solvent-based products may be flammable.
  • Certain products contain heavy metals that cause hazardous emissions from waste-to-energy facilities. 


  • Know the contents of the materials you use; ask your supplier for a Material Safety Data Sheet or hotline for the product. 
  • Look for warning label on the product. Art materials should be non-toxic if the manufacturer has appropriately labeled the product AP (approved product), CP (certified product), or HL (health label).
  • Use with caution, wear goggles and/or rubber gloves if needed.
  • Provide fresh air to your work area and wear appropriate mask, if needed.
  • Avoid procedures that create dust. Use wet sanding or vacuum equipment to minimize dust levels.
  • Clean up wet spills with absorbent (kitty litter, vermiculite or rags). Keep cleanup materials in closed metal containers and away from heat sources to prevent spontaneous combustion.
  • Reduce hazards during mixing of clay, sanding, and glazing by using exhaust ventilation, such as a spray booth. 
  • Use brushing or dipping methods when possible rather than spraying or airbrushing.
  • Use up products such as glues, adhesives, and solvents according to directions. 

Management Options 

  • If you have no further use for the product and it is in usable condition, try to give it away to someone who has a use for it.
  • Do not dispose of toxic art and craft supplies down the drain

Aerosol Containers (empty or partially full):

Empty Non-Aerosol Containers and Hardened or Solid Non-Toxic Products:

  • Dispose of these in the trash.

Liquid Non-Toxic Products:

  • Evaporate or absorb liquid with cat litter or other absorbent and dispose in trash.

Toxic Products:

  • Leftover paints containing toxics, such as cadmium and chromium, should not go in the trash. Overpack in tight container if danger of leaking. Save these materials for a household hazardous waste collection day or take to a commercial hazardous waste facility. 
  • Dried up toxic paints and adhesives can be put in the trash.

For more information about handling and disposal of arts and craft supplies, visit Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety (ACTS) or call the organization at 212-777-0062.

Toxic and hazardous materials including oil paints or solvents (such as turpentine or mineral spirits); please take them to the next Household Hazardous Waste Day