View Full Version : puppy ate a pastel!

06-19-2013, 04:53 PM
I don't even know where he got it from because they are all in the studio, a unison green 11. Cant get hold of the vet and I am worried. Anyone elses barmy animals done this??

06-19-2013, 05:16 PM
Get in touch with unison and see if they could tell you if the pigment is toxic or not .:crossfingers: Thats first question even a Vet or Dr. needs answered before any treatment is enacted or not.:( :(

In US we have a poison control 1-800 number to let people know if the substance child dog or other ingests is toxic you should have something similar :confused: .

good luck please let us know:crossfingers:


06-19-2013, 05:25 PM
hank you eric I have emailed them. FC I have only had him 5 days

06-19-2013, 06:51 PM
Eeeeek! Unison phone number is 01434 240203. I have been to their set up, they are very nice friendly people, trying phoning straightaway and see if you can get an answer. They do use cadmiums and cobalts in the mixes, so it's important to find out what's in the pastel. If my pups ate anything they shouldn;t I would make them sick with a few crystals of washing soda, but it would be too late now. Try your Yellow Pages and get hold of a vet, ANY vet.

Just looked in the archives of Wetcanvas and found the following posts:

1. Just a note to say that Cadmium pigment is not toxic if ingested. Pure Cadmium is, howeve,r extremely toxic, but there is a difference.

2. My dog when a puppy ate a cadmium orange tube of oil paint. Nothing happened to him and I checked with poison control (for animals) and there were five other instances, beoeive it or not, and no problems. His poop for days was bright orange. I told it to an artist friend who said to keep it a secret or artists would make it an art "happening."

3. In response to my concern with regards to the chemical composition i received this email from Unison.

Thanks for your email.

In the UK our pastels have been tested and pass the requirements for hand held art materials. Also, in Europe,
Cadmium pigment is considered not toxic.
However, US laws are far more stringent and alarming warnings have to be displayed on the pastels if they contain cadmium or cobalt, which most of ours do. These are the only pigments we use which might cause concern to some people, and in this country, we feel that the warnings are very excessive.

From our point of view, the only hazard is from dust, as the continuous inhalation of any powder should be avoided.

I am afraid this is not entirely helpful. Do get in touch with me again if you would like to.

Kate Hersey

3. This topic made me sit up and think. I just ordered a bunch of open-stock Unison's, and, as I always do, checked the MSDS for each one. They do not contain dangerous chemicals, but most do contain cobalt, a heavy metal with minimal toxicity (generally only an issue in industrial environments with heavy exposure). I tend to research things, and leaned that in fact, the body needs a certain amount of cobalt, and insufficiency can cause problems, though heavy exposure can be a problem. Here is a link to a site with a pretty straightforward explanation for laypeople:

None of the pastels I have contain cadmium, but I checked the same site to see what it said. Cadmium on the face of it sounds more ominous, but mainly because the retention time in the body is much longer. There is no conclusive evidence of health effects even in the industrial settings being studied (keep in mind that they are talking about large exposures). Cadmium is not absorbed through ingestion so it is not toxic through that route, and apparently most of that breathed ends up in the digestive system because of being trapped in mucus. So particle size is an issue.

Metal workers have a greater problem because they are exposed to large amounts for hours, and often their exposure is from fumes, which can be directly absorbed through the lungs and sometimes skin. (This is why I don't use paints on my glasswork.) The body will expell or isolate much of the particulates as from pastels.

Hope the little one is OK.


06-19-2013, 07:05 PM
Yikes! I hope your dog's all right and that it does just go right through him. Puppies and toddlers will do that. I feel for you.

I get really paranoid about my cat and my pastels, especially soft ones. He's serious about washing himself and anything that got on him would get into him.

06-19-2013, 10:48 PM
You are doing the correct thing: gather info that you are able about what it was she ate and get her checked out at the vet. I hope all is well with your pup.

Anyone elses barmy animals done this??


06-20-2013, 12:07 AM
Based what color looks i think is likely cadmium and one of cobalt greens. i get similar hues in aquarelle using cadmium yellow and pg50.(which is one cobalt greens)
ps. funny offtopic is human needs little amount of cobalt. and other important fact i heared russian (not english!) cadmium pigments are dangerious. true or not i dont know. and i know dog is not same as human but. and all what i hope all goes well.

06-20-2013, 05:53 AM
Have him checked by a vet, definitely. If it was one of the sticks with cad pigment, the puppy may be just fine. A few years ago I read a report from a UK experiment, where they fed cad pigments to rats, and found out that nothing got into their system. The particles were too large to penetrate the barriers, and came out the natural way. It even irritated the scientists to discover that these rats were healthier than the control group.

Cad pigments (cadmium salts) are highly stable molecules, up to very high temperatures. (Shouldn't be used by glass blowers.) So from what I've learned, not even the digestive juices should be a problem.

JPQ, the manufacturing processes do matter a lot. Which is why cad pigments older than 35 years should be avoided, but those made today, in countries observing proper processes, like the UK, are said to be perfectly safe.

Lesley, the difference is between the metal cadmium, and when the atoms of it join with other substances to form salt molecules. Cad metal is reactive, cad salts are very stable. Pigments are the salts. Workers making salts from cad metal have to be careful.

06-20-2013, 03:39 PM
you can make him barf it up by giving peroxide. in all honesty i bet he'll be fine.

06-20-2013, 09:32 PM
Colorix: i know manufacturing process thing is reason why i even talk it. i talked russian stuff becouse some places sells russian pastels which dont even tell which pigments are used.

and this pastel info what they give in colour chart in pigments (nothing what which colour has but common list) and my eyes and dickblick charts. and my mixing experice in aquarelle says what it says about used pigments. and i almost 100% sure it contains stuff what i say. is most easy recipe get such hue. and too many pigments is makes muddy color as we know.

06-21-2013, 06:10 PM
How'd it turn out at the vet? Still concerned about the pup, Sahara. Hope all is okay. I'd watch for what comes out when the pup gets walked too.