Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Hypochondriac's Guide to Paint

Being the hypochondriac that I am, and since I can't seem to get through a day of painting without ending up covered from head to foot. I thought it might be a good idea to check the toxicity of my colours. Here are some of the worst offenders in my paint box.


Cobalt Blue

It's named after a Goblin or 'Kobold' on account of it's discovery in German silver mines (where goblins were thought to live). After reading up on it I'm inclined to think its malevolent nature can only be ascribed to tiny minions of satan.

This is also the most expensive paint. More expensive than silver...Maybe... Which is why I don't use it much...Thank GOD.


Cobalt poisoning can occur when you are exposed to large amounts of cobalt. There are three basic ways that cobalt can cause poisoning. You can swallow too much of it, breathe too much into your lungs, or have it come in constant contact with your skin. ( like me)
The invisible Kobold Goblins will then work their magic thus:
Your heart will become so big and floppy that it can't pump blood , Your nervous system will cease to function properly. It also causes Thyroid problems, Thickening of the blood... And other symptoms I won't go into here.

The only way to antidote it is to find the offending Goblin and kill it with holy water.


Contains mercury Which will kill you dead, but not before dissolving your brain slowly, until you are a quivering, insane, wreck. It also gives you something called 'Pink Disease' which is less charming than it sounds. In Victorian times Mercury was an ingredient in a solution used in the making of hats. Hence the term 'Mad as a Hatter.'

It was also an ingredient in various medicines including a teething remedy. Hell, they probably knocked back shot glasses of the stuff. In fact it can be found today in amalgam filings, tuna and vaccinations. I don't see why I should worry. People in Victorian times had long, healthy lives right?

Cadmium Red.

Hoo boy!

This one will start out looking like flu , then bad flu then really bad flu... Then shrinks your kidneys, and softens your bones until they are fractured by your OWN BODY WEIGHT. Then , luckily for you, you go into a coma. I forget what happens next...

Oh right

Manganese Blue

This one worries me as I use it all the time, and I won't stop. Even though I now know the grisly manner of my own demise.

As the name suggests contains manganese. As well as creating a lovely greeny blue shade it will...

A. Affect my brain chemistry in the same way as schizophrenia.
B. Give me symptoms akin to a delightful combination of Parkinson's disease , Lou Gehrig's disease and multiple sclerosis.
C.Destroy all my internal organs.

... And pretty much every other terrifying symptom you can imagine. In fact if you swallow Manganese you'll be lucky if you don't end up melting into a puddle of fluids like that senator guy from the X-Men... How Mystique managed to survive being dipped in the stuff remains a mystery.

Not recommended

Flake White

Flake White and various others are made from lead. This is the same paint people in the 1600s put all over their faces. The first signs that it might not have been a great idea to paint yourself with lead would have been... Pain, muscle weakness and pins and needles. Then over the long term you would become less intelligent and non-verbal reasoning, short-term memory, fine motor skills, emotional regulation, and social engagement would be destroyed.

In other words you would be part of the generation that spawned the Marquis de Sade, thought the castrati were a good idea, and wore wigs so gigantic that they got caught in chandeliers.

I think I'll just dispose of the flake white in a controlled explosion.