Is Acrylic Paint Toxic? FIND OUT


Is acrylic paint toxic?

You may have a different view, but let us consider this together.

Acrylic paint is widely considered to be a safe paint as it is made using water based solvents. This is why there is no particular nasty smell associated with acrylics paints.

It is a water-based, non-toxic and quick-drying paint that can be used for many applications like craft.

Acrylic paints are made of three (3) components:

  • Pigments,
  • A vehicle and
  • A binder.

Vehicles are the liquid part of the paint that holds the pigments in suspension, and binders act like cement, allowing the pigments to stick together and form a paint film. The acrylic vehicle is acrylic polymer emulsion, and their binder is acrylic polymer.

When they dry, the components of the vehicle evaporate — meaning that water, propylene glycol, and ammonia are released into the air. Some of the commonly added acrylic mediums also release formaldehyde as they dry.

Considering if the acrylic paint is toxic, lets us consider an MSDS reports of acrylic paint.


Acrylic paint MSDS reports

  • Hazard identification

Hazard Classification: Non-hazardous substance. Non-dangerous goods. According to the Criteria of NOHSC and the ADG Code.

Hazard Category: None allocated as non hazardous.

Risk Phrases: None allocated as non hazardous.

Safety Phrases: None allocated as non hazardous.

Warning Statement: No particular hazards associated with this product.

  • Toxicological information

Acute exposure

Eye contact: Irritating, and may injure eye tissue if not removed promptly.

Skin contact: Low hazard for usual industrial handling or commercial handling by trained personnel.

Inhalation: High gas, vapor, mist or dust concentrations may be harmful if inhaled. Avoid breathing fumes, spray, vapors, or mist.

Ingestion: Substance may be harmful if swallowed.

Chronic Health Effects:
In some susceptible individuals possible dermatitis may occur after repeated or prolonged skin contact.

  • Handling and storage

Precautions for Safe Handling: Avoid direct contact with eyes or prolonged contact skin. Wear appropriate protective
equipment to prevent eye contact. Handle and use in accordance with good occupational hygiene and safety practice.

Conditions for Safe Storage: Store in an area that is cool, dry and out of direct sunlight with adequate ventilation. Store
away from strong oxidising agents, strong alkalis and strong acids. Store away from materials or products which react with
water. Keep containers closed, when not using the product. Storage in original containers is recommended.

  • Personal protection:

Biological Limit Values: Not known.

Engineering Controls: Maintain adequate ventilation at all times. In most circumstances natural ventilation systems are

Personal Protection Equipment: Eye/Face Protection: Safety glasses with side shields, goggles or full-face shield as appropriate are recommended. Final choice of appropriate eye/face protection will vary according to individual circumstances i.e. methods of handling or engineering controls and according to risk assessments undertaken. Eye protection should conform to Australian/New
Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1337

Respiratory Protection: Avoid breathing of vapours/mists; ensure adequate ventilation. Respiration is generally unnecessary; unless working with spray applying (airbrush equipment or some other form of atomizing spray equipment). Where breathing apparatus is required, use either respirator with organic/ammonia cartridge, or a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) with positive air supply. All breathing apparatus to comply with AS/NZS 1715/1716.


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  • First aid measures

For contact with the eye: Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes holding eyelids open. Get medical
attention. Do NOT allow rubbing of eyes or keeping eyes closed.

For skin contact: Wash skin with soap and water. Remove contaminated clothing. Get medical attention if irritation
develops or persists.

For inhalation: Remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get
immediate medical attention. Do NOT use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If you experience difficulty in breathing, leave the area to obtain fresh air. If continued difficulty is experienced, get medical assistance immediately.

For ingestion: If swallowed, rinse mouth with water. If feeling unwell, get medical attention. Swallowing less than an
ounce will not cause significant harm. For larger amounts, do not induce vomiting, but give one or two glasses of water to drink and
get medical attention.

Consulted MSDS




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However, though acrylic paint is relatively safe, it is not without risks. It is recommended that we treat all chemical substance harmful, except it is certified safe by the manufacturer.

Recap – Is acrylic paint toxic?

I will have this to say – For acrylic paint to be safe, safe use is recommended to curtail the risks inherent in the paint.


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