COBALT – the hidden danger


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Time to address a heavy (metal) issue – Cobalt!

While the industry debates and limits their use of Lead in paint (Lead is something ProNature has never used), we thought we would turn our attention to Cobalt. We can’t wait for further confirmation of the potential dangers, or legislative intervention for that matter, to be proactive and start protecting our clients.

So, what is Cobalt?

Cobalt is a potential cancer-causing, and water-polluting metal salt commonly used in the paint industry as a drying agent for paints that need to absorb oxygen to dry and cure.

“Cobalt driers have been a regulatory concern for many years. Reproductive toxicity and the long-term adverse effects on aquatic organisms have been well known and documented. As described above, cobalt driers are true catalysts in the oxidation process of air-drying binders in that they do not become part of the molecular structure. Cobalt driers do not crosslink into the film and have some water solubility so they will eventually leach into the groundwater supply when the films are exposed to water. There is also the growing concern that cobalt (as Cobalt 2-ethylhexanoate, at least) will be classified as a carcinogen. Most European paint manufacturers have already replaced Cobalt in their formulations in anticipation of one or all of these concerns being realized.” – Coatings World (reference below)

For the last few months, it has been our biggest endeavour to find Cobalt alternatives. We are proud to announce that from February 2022 we will no longer be using any Cobalt driers in our ongoing production! The driers we will be using are Iron, or Manganese based and are free of any of the above issues.

As ProNature, and the Green Chemist, we pride ourselves in being local pioneers and leading developers in the natural paint field. We have been chasing cutting-edge development and greener ways of production for the last 25 years.


From The Desk Of The Green Chemist

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