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Glad you asked because dry artist's pigments are very dangerous,
not so much to touch, but to inhale. The stuff that they sell for student
use that mixes up with water has been banned in many school districts
because the fine particles of pigment can get just about anywhere including
the lungs, livers and so on of kids. Dry artists pigments are even more
dangerous because they are ground more finely. When I use these I always
wear a mask. Once they are mixed with water (and some pigments especially
the phalo colors can take a long time to mix ((have to use a palette knife
or something similiar on a flat piece of glass)), they no longer pose the
danger although, as you know, all pigments can be problematic for some
individuals. When you check out the filter in your face mask after using
dry artist's pigments, what you see will astonish you. All that color might
have gone into your lungs. In spite of the danger and the hassle, they mix
up with egg yolk to make the most exquisite and luminous color on a plaster
ground. (Egg tempera).
Personally I would not use artists pigments for sand painting
although I might use the student dry pigments. Also, despite the age of
the stuff, it lasts indefinitely.
I learned the hard way about dry pigments, air brushing and using
powdered dyes. Since having respitory problems, I have become adamant about
safe use of these materials and methods. Peggy