Utrecht had come out with cadmium free paints recently boasting very similar hues of the most popular cadmium colors of red, yellow, and orange. Now, in some of the colors they really did a great job finding the right hue, which is most impressive!
According to OSHA, you should use extreme caution with cadmium, it is quickly absorbed through the lungs in dry form, but it can also be absorbed through the stomach and skin. So, keep it off of you.
In order for them to create Cadmium Red Light Utrecht had to mix five colors – FIVE! In order to mix Cadmium Red Light according to Utrecht, you need: PY184 Bismuth Yellow, PR112 Naphthol Red AS-D, PR254 Pyrrole Red, PO74 Transparent Pyrrole Orange and PW4 Zinc White.
Zinc white is stated as moderately toxic. Bismuth is also harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
Naphthol Red is known to be inferior to other similarly toned red pigments in lightfast testing.
What is the point of getting rid of cadmiums for another mixture of toxic and/or less reliable pigments? There is none!
Furthermore, paints that contain more than one or two pigments becomes muddy looking when mixing it with other paints, therefore making it difficult to mix your colors.
If you want a non-toxic yellow, red and orange, you can still use pure pigments that are lightfast. These pigments are Pyrrole Red, Pyrrole Orange and Hansa Yellow Medium (not light). While they are not exactly the same as Cadmium Red, Yellow and Orange you can get great results in color mixing and not have to worry about toxicity.
And remember, Utrecht offers a variety of really good paint colors to play with! So…