Well, as I promised in the last issue, as a request from one of our readers, I would do some research into the possibility of getting ill from insects, specifically the biting kind like fleas, dust mites, and mosquitoes, which might deliver remnants of the nasty chemicals we us around our shops. I interviewed several physicians, a toxicologist, and a couple of news reporters that have done some reporting on similar issues with animals. While there is some ongoing research into insects building up immunities to pesticides and delivering minute doses to humans; however, this is in it’s infant stages and there is nothing conclusive at this time. Most of the professionals I spoke with all concurred that it was highly unlikely for several reasons. First, the chemicals themselves, in their reactive state are toxic enough to kill the insects, and the amount they could possibly deliver in a bite would be too minute to have negligible effect on us. Secondly, most aqueous based materials are required to have biocides in them. These are antimicrobials that are tailored to inhibit microbial and fungal growth. Also, once the aerosolized paint hits the ground and the chemical reactions stop producing the harmful fumes, the remnants are inert and unlikely to be harmful unless you stir up the dust and inhale it, which could become a respiratory problem if your exposed to too much dust particles without wearing any respiratory protection. If you or a family member experiences any abnormal reactions from insect bites, it is best to get to a physician as soon as possible, it is doubtful that it would be related to your painting practices, and you may not get the answers you’re looking for but at least it will be looked after by a medical professional.

Ok, I’ve been talking with Bill Edwards from E-Tac. He is producing a new line of acrylic based paints that have been extensively formulated for airbrushing on multiple surfaces. All of the forum reviews, that I’ve read, have been very good. Bill is very committed to his product, is committed to making them environmentally safe, and making them work properly without having to resort to 3rd party additives or unsafe home grown concoctions, and will tell you that he has moved away from solvent based automotive paints for health and environmental beliefs

I purchased several bottles of E-Tac and spent almost eight hours during a practice session using the black and was delighted to see very little build up on my facemask filter. No nasty smell either! In fact one of the posts I read stated that they had problems being around some other brands of paint but E-Tac did not seem to bother them. Bill has lived and worked in the industry for a long time and has exceeded all of the industry standards and testing for his product and has a very good understanding of the Toxicology of his product. You can visit the official web site at All of the technical data can be found there, as well as a very nice forum. He also lists his personal phone number there, should you have any questions that you can’t find answers for. As always, make sure you use the appropriate and recommended safety equipment.

One last note of interest; there have been quite a few posts on various forums about using a popular cleaning product as a flow enhancer to prevent tip drying while airbrushing with some brands of water based airbrush paints. This may work for you, but while this product was made to be used in common house hold spray bottles, it was never meant to be atomized through an airbrush and hence, never tested as to its possible health risk factors when in that fine atomized state. Consequently, there are no reparatory protection recommendations. So you have no clue as to what will stop it from getting into you body, nor what short or long term effect it may have. Think about the small monetary gain now as opposed to the possible healthcare costs, or worse, as a result of using products for other than there intended use. Robin

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