What Is ASTM D-4236?

ASTM D-4236 is the standard practice of labeling art materials for chronic health hazards. The designation “conforms to ASTM D-4236” means all of the potentially hazardous components of the art product have been clearly labeled on the product packaging.

Art supplies sold in the United States must include the printed phrase “conforms to ASTM D-4236.” This means that every potentially hazardous component used to make the product is listed on the packaging.

Some common art supply components, such as solvents, cause allergic reactions or are dangerous if they touch the skin or the eyes. Other art supply components cause respiratory problems if they are over-inhaled. The ASTM D-4236 standard requires these components to be listed on art supply packaging, to help people make responsible choices about both choosing and using art supplies. The related Labeling Hazardous Art Materials Act requires art supply packaging to carry warnings about any dangerous materials, such as “if product gets in eyes, wash immediately.”

Even if the art supply in question contains no potentially hazardous materials, it is still required to carry the “conforms to ASTM D-4236” designation. This way, consumers know that the art product they are considering purchasing has been fully checked for hazardous materials.