Fine Art Materials: The Solvent System
A Solvent must be capable of dissolving resins, oils, waxes and fats, so by definition a true solvent can’t be totally harmless. This means that vital human organs are at risk when volatile solvents enter the body by inhalation. The most toxic compounds in low-grade petroleum solvents are aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons, which also cause their obnoxious smell. For instance, benzene which is the main aromatic component in solvents, is about 300 times as toxic as a truly odourless mineral spirit. Technically the most aggressive solvent is not needed for every job. Therefore an artist must be able to make a targeted choice in the solvent strength, limiting the associated health risk and using adequate protection.
Because Eco-House wants the consumer to be able to make an educated choice regarding potential health risks, we list all ingredients on product labels. Our gradual-strength solvent system allows artists to minimize exposure to harsh solvents. There is no technical “one-fits-all” solvent without avoidable health risks.