Health and Safety Tips

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What do health labels mean?

Read the labels

Reading the labels on your paint is vitally important. There are some world wide standards for health and safety you will see marked on paint bottles. CO and AP both certify a product to be non toxic, but the CP label gives a higher rating. The AP lable acknowledges that there are no quality and performance standards for that product: Take a look at this below drawn from

CP Certified Product Seal:
A product which is certified by ACMI to be non toxic as well as both properly labeled for toxicity and meets certain quality and performance standards.

AP Approved Product Seal:
A product, which has been certified by ACMI to be nontoxic and properly labeled for toxicity. ...They may receive an AP Seal if there are currently no performance standards for that product type.

The HL Health Label Seal (Caution Required):
A product which contains a material(s) in sufficient quantities that has the potential to cause an acute or chronic health hazard.

Is a painted surface food safe?

Paint and food

Lots of our paints are non toxic. Read the labels carefully and you will see the ASTM non toxic label on it...but STOP RIGHT THERE and think for a minute. Keep reading some of these labels and tech data booklets and you will find warnings, even very gentle ones that food should not be put or served directly on painted surfaces. The label says non toxic. That is, in small amounts it will not harm us. It doesn't mean it is food safe. I am not suggesting it might poison food, but the food and it may well not get along. I have a direct example. A lovely tineware piece I have. I painted it inside and out and use it as a fruit basket. It was fine until we went away for a holiday and a sad old onion and orange went way past their use by date. The oxidation between these foods and the paint created a problem for the paint work. It has now lifted from the tinware. Obviously I wasn't about to ingest the food anyway...but the point here is there was an obvious deterioration in the paint work. Which made life worse for the other? Who knows. It is not important. Keep it simple...if it is an item that is to store food long term, keep food away from the paint. Don't paint the inside of bread bids, potato bins, cannisters etc. On trays and platters, use a paper doily. Don't paint the middle of a dinner plate. Inspite of how tough these paints are on a dinner plate the wear and tear of cuttlery will ruin the finish, flake the paint and where does it go??? Somewhere in your food. Not toxic, but conversely not necessarily healthy either.

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Tammi Reynolds