Artists' Health



Primary Concern with Pastels:

  • Pigments in pastel dust

Pastel dust is extremely dangerous. As described in the Paints section, pigments are made of many different chemical compounds, some of which are known to be carcinogenic or cause serious injury.

These same pigments are found in pastels, and when they are used, pastels produce a lot of dust that is easy to inhale.

Blowing pastel dust off of the work increases your exposure risk by spreading the dust through the air.

Oil pastels do not pose an inhalation risk, and chalk dust is non-toxic, though it may be a trigger for people with asthma.