Paints and other tools often contain hazardous materials for the environment. One artist makes suggestions on how to create 'footprint free' art.

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This article titled “Ethical living: can art be environmentally friendly?” was written by Lucy Siegle, for The Observer on Saturday 14th April 2012 23.04 UTC

It’s true, the visual arts do not always produce the prettiest of pictures. There are lashings of toxic pigments, solvents, petrochemicals, formaldehyde and other ecologically destructive preservatives thrown into the mix of a working studio.

Overall, things are getting better. Certain cadmiums, cobalts and lead-based paints have been banned due to EU regulation. A substantial number of artists mourn the passing of Flake White (phased out after EU legislation on lead pigments): many also stockpiled enough that they are still using it. But these materials were heavily polluting and hazardous to more than just the artist using them.

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