Toxicity of paint pigments

Some older paint pigments were made with materials now known to be toxic.  Many of these are still available for sale, though some, such as Scheele's Green, are now all but impossible to obtain.  There are less toxic substitutes for most of the paints listed below.  Listed below are the common name of the pigment, other names it is known by, the Color Index name and number if available, and the reason they are so toxic.  The first group is highly toxic paints that should be avoided at all costs; many of these pigments are no longer produced commercially.  The second group is pigments that may be toxic, either through prolonged contact, or if swallowed (actually easier than it sounds, especially if you chew on your brush handles or fingernails, or use watercolors.) or inhaled.  The third group is pigments that have the potential to be toxic through contamination or which may irritate the skin.

NOTE:  Paints with the word "hue" at the end of their name are actually substitutes for the original, and are usually non-toxic.  For instance, Cadmium Yellow Hue contains no actual Cadmium Yellow, but is usually a blend of the non-toxic Arylide Yellow G and Arylide Yellow 10G. 

Highly toxic pigments (avoid at all costs)

Lead Red (Red 105) Contains lead
Molybdate Orange
(Red 104) Contains lead and chromates
Chrome Orange (Orange 21) Contains lead and chromates
Mercadmium Orange
(Orange 23) Contains cadmium, mercury and sulfides
Barium Yellow
(Lemon Yellow, Barium Chromate, Yellow 31) Contains barium and chromates
Chrome Yellow (Chrome Lemon, Primrose Yellow, Lead Chromate, Yellow 34) Contains lead and chromates
Zinc Yellow (Zinc Chromate, Yellow 36) Contains chromates
Naples Yellow (Lead Antimonite, Antimony Yellow, Yellow 41) Contains lead and antimony
King's Yellow (Yellow 39) Contains arsenic
Strontium Yellow
(Yellow 32) Contains strontium and chromates
Zinc Yellow
(Yellow 36) Contains chromate
Chrome Green
(Milori Green, Prussian Green, Green 15) Contains chromates
Emerald Green
(Paris Green, Vienna Green, Green 21) Contains arsenite
Scheele's Green (Schloss Green, Green 22) Contains arsenite
Cobalt Violet (Violet 14) Contains cobalt and arsenite
Flake White
(Cremnitz White, Lead White, White 1) Contains lead
Lithopone (White 5) Contains zinc sulfide
Zinc Sulfide White
(White 7) Contains zinc sulfide
(White 10) Contains barium
Antimony White
(White 11) Contains antimony
Antimony Black
Contains antimony sulfide

Possibly toxic pigments (avoid unless necessary)

Vermilion (Cinnabar, Red 106) Contains mercury compounds
Cadmium Red (Red 108) Contains cadmium
Cadmium Orange
(Orange 20) Contains cadmium
Cadmium Yellow
(Yellow 37) Contains cadmium
Cobalt Yellow
(Aureolin, Yellow 40) Contains cobalt
Cobalt Green
(Green 19) Contains cobalt
Chromium Oxide Green (Olive Green, Permanent Green, Green 17) Contains chromic oxide
(Emeraude Green, Green 18) Contains chromic oxide
Prussian Blue
(Iron Blue, Milori Blue, Bronze Blue, Blue 27) Contains cyanide compounds
Antwerp Blue (Blue 27) Contains cyanide compounds
Cobalt Blue
(Kings Blue, Blue 28) Contains cobalt
Manganese Blue (Blue 33) Contains manganese
Manganese Violet
(Permanent Mauve, Violet 16) Contains manganese and barium

Potentially toxic pigments (use caution)

Lithol Red (Red Lake R, Red 49) Sometimes contaminated with soluble barium
Nickel Azo Yellow (Green Gold, Green 10) Contains nickel
Barium White
(Blanc Fixe, White 21) Sometimes contaminate with soluble barium