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Venice Turpentine - Toxicity Sheet

Hello Everyone,

I recently bought the Geneva paint as I thought all ingredients were non-toxic.

I also recently bought the Sennelier Venice Turpentine as I wanted to give it a try in making my own medium. I contacted Sennelier because I wanted to have further information regarding the toxicity of the mentioned product and the sent me a toxicity sheet. 

It seems to me ti is actually pretty toxic or am I reading it wrong. Did I perhaps buy the wrong version/product?

Can someone please help and clarify this for me.

Thank you very much in advance.

(Attached - Sennelier TS)


  • dencaldencal -
    edited July 2018

    VT is the natural resin from the larch tree. Used in vet medicine, cosmetics and as a food additive.
    The toxic components are the distillates and hydrocarbons added to improve uniformity, color and viscosity.
    I always urge folks to go for the 100% pure equine or art VT.

    Wild Siberian Larch Resin Natural Chewing Gum

  • I looked thru the document and never found the word “larch”.  It refers to this product as “turpentine, oil”.  I don’t think you were sold true larch resin.  This is what I bought at a farrier shop.  Turpentine is in the mix and that is all that’s toxic or flammable so far as I know. Try to get pure larch resin.

  • The Sennelier VT is 100% larch resin. I’m assuming this is the one you have?

    The MSDS is mostly for handling large quantities under factory conditions. Obviously keep away from any feral kids running around.
    if you are concerned 
    1. Don’t use it, or
    2. Have adequate ventilation 

    Some people are much more sensitive to substances than others and the MSDS has to cover all bases and eventualities including large spillages ( and I mean vats of the stuff, not the little bottle it retails in)

    I have used it with no issues but then I’m not overly concerned with such things, having said that I wouldn’t use ordinary turps- very very toxic.

    I love the smell of the VT but now I can get Geneva I haven’t used my SDM for a while.
  • BMnGBMnG -
    edited July 2018
    @dencal Are you suggesting that the specific one you posted the pic of, is not toxic at all. If so as it seems they are not in liquid format how would go about mixing it in the medium. 

    @MikeDerby Thanks for the info 

     @Boudicca That is exactly the one I have. I am not super concerned considering that it will also be diluted with other non-toxic component however, it is always better to know what you are dealing with rather than discovering you have been dealing with toxic substances for years and never even bothered open the window if you know what I mean.
  • BMnG

    The pic I posted was a pack of chewing gum to demonstrate the non-toxicity of Larch resin (VT).


  • @dencal yes, I got that lol.... a bit too late lol... Can I ask what are your thoughts on the Sennelier one I have? Regarding safety of use... 
  • BMnG

    Sorry, ain’t used it or done any homework on Sennelier. But toxicity is about dose/response. Eight litres of water is toxic. I would lay odds that your other materials - titanium white, cadmium red etc are much more toxic than any VT product. 

    Common sense studio practice will avoid any adverse health effects - ventilation, no solvents, airtight containers, clean up a priority etc.

    Sennelier is a reputable brand available globally for decades. I have not seen any complaints about it.


  • Being an ex-expert I think it is a good thing that consumers have the same information the manufacturers do. However you should also know that what goes into an MSDS by the manufacturer is first reviewed by an army of Lawyers whose job it is to protect the manufacturer from liability lawsuits. MSDS's often include verbiage that the contents are more dangerous than actual. Also it is important to note that the MSDS is intended for the use of people who will be working with large quantities (vats, drums, open containers, piping and packaging machines etc.) This mixture is 50% Rosin and 25% Turpentine oil. All of the toxicity comes from that 25%. BY LAW (not science) when a substance contains any amount of a harmful component, the whole must be considered harmful. MSDSs are not required for food or medicines. If they were, we would all be prohibited from using most them. Ibuprofen is a poison almost as strong as strychnine for example. Also by law, if an amount of a product was harmful enough to be regarded immediately dangerous it would then be necessary for the seller to provide each and every buyer with a copy of the MSDS. All that being said it is still important to use all products according to the manufacturers instructions (those are LAWYER approved too.)
  • @BOB73 You made a very good point :)
    Thanks for that. I worry a lot about these things... probably more than I should ;)
  • A little worry is a good thing. Taking extra precautions never hurt and can add to your peace of mind.
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