Regulatory Requirement for Art Materials
the United States, Labeling of the Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA)
requires that a Board Certified Toxicologist review formulations of
art materials to assure compliance to LHAMA in accordance with
ASTM D-4236. These art materials can be labeled as “Conform to ASTM
What is LHAMA?
LHAMA is an acronym for Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials
Act. According to US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Document
#5016, dated November 18, 1988, the President signed into
law the Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (Public Law
100-695). This law requires that all art materials be reviewed to
determine the potential for causing a chronic hazard and for
recommending appropriate warning labels.
According to the CPSC, the term "Art Material" includes "any
substance marketed or represented by the producer or package company as
suitable for use in any phase of creation of any work of visual or
graphic art of any medium." (15 U.S.C. 1277(b) (1). The law applies to
many children's toy products such as crayons, chalk, paint sets,
modeling clay, coloring books, pencils, and any other product used by
children to produce a work of visual or graphic art.
The "Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act" (LHAMA) amended
the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) by adding Section 23 and
designating the ASTM Standard Practice for Labeling Art Materials for
Chronic Health Hazards (ASTM D-4236-88) as a regulation under Section
3(b) of the FHSA. The requirements of the LHAMA became effective on
November 18, 1990. These requirements apply to art materials that are
intended for use in the household or by children, which are initially
introduced into interstate commerce on and after November 18, 1990.
The Commission believes that under the broad statutory definition of "Art Material" three general categories can be seen:
- Those products which actually become a component of the work
of visual or graphic art, such as paint, canvas, inks, crayons, chalk,
solder, brazing rods, flux, paper, clay, stone, thread, cloth, and
- Those products which are closely and intimately associated
with the creation of the final work of art, such as brush cleaners,
solvents, ceramic kilns, brushes, silk screens, molds or mold making
material, and photo developing chemicals.
- Those tools, implements, and furniture that are used in the
process of the creation of a work of art, but do not become part of the
work of art. Examples are drafting tables and chairs, easels, picture
frames, canvas stretchers, potter's wheels, hammers, chisels, and air
pumps for air brushes.
The CPSC does not believe that Congress intended products in
the third category to be considered "Art Materials." Therefore, as an
enforcement policy, the CPSC is not requiring that products falling in
this third category comply with the standard for art materials. However,
manufacturers still have the responsibility under the FHSA to assure
that these products comply with any FHSA labeling or other requirements
due to chronic toxicity or other hazards.
Parents and others buying art materials, school supplies and
toys such as crayons, paint sets, or modeling clay should be alert and
purchase only those products which are accompanied by the statement
"Conforms to ASTM D-4236." SEALS OF ANY COMPANY ARE NOT NECESSARY IN THE
PRESENCE OF THE CONFORMANCE STATEMENT.
The LHAMA does not change the fact that products which are
hazardous are banned for distribution to young children, whether the
hazard is based on chronic toxicity, acute toxicity, flammability, or
other hazard identified by the FHSA. There is an exception for art
materials if they meet all three of the exemption criteria of Section
2(q) of the FHSA in that they: (1) require the inclusion of the
hazardous substances for their functional purpose, (2) bear labeling
giving adequate directions and warnings for safe use, and (3) are
intended for use by children who have attained sufficient maturity, and
may reasonably be expected, to read and heed such directions and
For more information on the requirements for art materials,
contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Recalls and
Compliance Division, Office of Compliance, Washington, DC 20207,
telephone: 301-504-7913 or visit
Official CPSC information about
Professional at Info. Tox. International, Inc. Conducting LHAMA
At Info. Tox. International, Inc. a highly experienced
Board-Certified Toxicologist will review formulations of art materials
to assure compliance to LHAMA for conformance to ASTM D-4236.