Safety in the Arts

Materials and procedures used by artists have existed and evolved for centuries, as have the hazards associated with creating art. As early as 1700 A.D. publications such as “Diseases of Workers” observed negative health effects within populations such as painters. Colorful pigments were created from materials such as arsenic, chromium, cobalt, lead, and mercury – elements now known to be highly toxic. Common solvents are also now known to be neurotoxins. 

Hazards may be either physical or chemical in nature.  These hazards can be identified and minimized while still maintaining the flexibility and creativity necessary within Art.  


  • Laurie Graham PhD, Laboratory Safety Manager (P) 541-346-2864

Information and Resources

Safety as a Component of Creating Art