Thank you community!
We love communicating with our growing community of loyal supporters on our discord server and over social media. It´s cool to talk to you, get impressions, ideas and hear you out. One topic that pops up quite often is brushlicking and how safe it is to do so.
Maybe that is also because we strongly focus on health-related topics, environmental issues and safety in general with our newly developed Ultracryl paint series. Ultracryl has been developed from the ground up with these factors in mind since we care about our users and we want you to have the most pleasant experience with our paint.
Minimize the unmber of additives
During development of our formula, we set ourselves high standards in order to make this happen. For instance, regarding additives we try to minimize the use of chemical little helpers to the absolute minimum and so keep our users from exposure.
You will be surprised what a vast army of those substances especially for acrylics there are ... like flow improvers, defoamers, leveling aids, dispersants, wetting agents, UV-stabilizers, solvents, antisettling, rheology modifiers, thickeners and most problematic: biocides and preservatives.
You can absolutely be sure that in any acrylic paint you pick out of your drawer right now, there are at least seven or eight of those chemicals or chemical mixtures inside of your paint.
Unfortunately we also can´t fully abandon some of them, but for example who needs UV-protection if the pigments that are used are of such a high lightfastness rating that they won´t fade anyway? Or why use defoamers when you are able to produce the paints so clever that no foam will be generated in the first place? Use a thickener that also prevents settling of the pigments, and so on.
Maximize the quality
Then a second aspect is the source and quality of the few additives used. We could source everything from China or India, and save a good buck. But then we also get what we pay for. Instead, we decided to only buy local raw materials from the top producers like BYK or BASF for example.
Together with ultra-high-quality products we get their support, expertise, quality assurance and can be sure that they are not contaminated with any toxins or VOCs.
Also, we only buy the greenest products in the range which are produced with European environmental standards and are absolutely non-toxic.
The same goes for our pigments. Pigments in the past have been very, very toxic. They used to contain mercury, lead and all kinds of nasty stuff. Even today’s cadmium, cobalt or chromium pigments are far from being healthy. Suffice to say, we don´t use any of them in the current range since there are far better alternatives like Bismuth, hybrid and off course the ultra-colorful organic pigments.
Biocides and preservatives
But, there is one additive that needs the most attention, and that is biocides and preservatives.
Since acrylic paints are water-based and acrylic resins are an organic material, they are extra-yummy for certain kinds of mold and bacteria. Bacteria are known to digest the most unbelievable materials like toxic waste or crude oil in oil spills. And where bacteria live, fungi are not far.
This is easily taken care of with biocides, off course. But biocides are extra-nasty and are known to cause all kinds of responses in humans, from cancer to liver and kidney problems to contact and cross-allergies. After all they are biocides. Particularly problematic are MIT (Methylisothiazolinone) and Formaldehyde-releasing compounds, that are sadly very common in acrylics. We talked about skipping preservatives altogether and decrease the shelf-life of our product, but that would have been irresponsible in many ways. The biggest problem is, that the mold that likes to grow on acrylic resins is quite harmful by itself, its hard to spot and it´s creating its own toxins that induce asthma and allergies that are as bad as the ones from biocides.
But, off course
there is again a solution
for many of those problems, but you have to do research, pay more and use quality products. For our Ultracryl range,
we use a mild preservative
that has antifungal and antibacterial properties and best of all is the same that
is approved for children´s finger paints
and used by the two test-winners of the german magazine “öko-test” that has tested finger paints in its September 2021 issue.
All this is well and good, but still not enough to protect the little ones. Colorful bottles certainly look very appealing to children. For this reason we looked for a child-safe bottle that still is easy to open without fumbling for ages. We also wanted a bottle with high clarity for finding the right color with one go. Chubby Gorilla with their Unicorn bottles were the best choice since they also provide the bottles with recycled ultra-clear PET which helps to protect children and our planet alike. No matter how harmless a household paint is (or not), you absolutely HAVE to keep it out of reach from children.
As safe as possible
As you see, we have taken extra care for our users, since we know that licking a brush here and there to make it extra-pointy is very common, especially in the world of miniatures. Off course, we still cannot encourage you to eat our paint. That would be inappropriate and irresponsible, but we have made our paint as safe as possible with the current technology and most important to us, we have transparently told you about what is in acrylic paints, to make you judge for yourselves!
Take care! -Your Ten01 labs team.