The Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI) is a non-profit association of manufacturers of art, craft and other creative materials. Formerly known as The Crayon, Water Color & Craft Institute, Inc., it was re-organized and expanded in 1982 to include more types of art materials and was re-named The Art & Craft Materials Institute, Inc. The name of the association has recently been changed to The Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. to more accurately reflect the wide variety of materials in its certification program. Since 1940, ACMI has sponsored a certification program for children's art materials, certifying that these products are non-toxic and meet voluntary standards of quality and performance. ACMI's certification program has received the endorsement of experts in the field of toxicology and is one of the finest industry programs in existence. The program has been a responsive one, evolving to meet new challenges and to include ever more products. In 1982, the program was expanded to include certification of a broad spectrum of art and craft materials, including adult products, ensuring that health warning labels are affixed on adult materials where appropriate. All children's materials certified by ACMI are non-toxic and cannot bear health warning labels. Today ACMI has over 220 members and has certified over 60,000 art, craft and other creative materials. ACMI seeks to create and maintain a positive environment for art, craft and other creative materials usage; to promote safety in these materials; and to serve as an information and service resource on such products. In these ways, ACMI provides leadership, guidance, and education to all to achieve greater participation in art, craft and other creative activities.
ACMI has a consulting toxicology team, led by the primary Toxicologist, Woodhall Stopford, M.D., M.S.P.H., at Duke University Medical Center, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, who review the complete formulas of products in the certification program. In this evaluation, the Toxicologist takes into account:
* Each ingredient and its quantity
* Possible adverse interaction with other ingredients
* The product's size and packaging
* Potential acute and chronic harm to any part of the human body
* Possible allergic reaction
* How a product is commonly used and misused
* U. S. national and state labeling regulations.
The new AP (Approved Product) Seal, with or without Performance Certification, identifies art materials that are safe and that are certified in a toxicological evaluation by a medical expert to contain no materials in sufficient quantities to be toxic or injurious to humans, including children, or to cause acute or chronic health problems. This seal is currently replacing the previous non-toxic seals: CP (Certified Product), AP (Approved Product), and HL Health Label (Non-Toxic) over a 10-year phase-in period. Such products are certified by ACMI to be labeled in accordance with the chronic hazard labeling standard, ASTM D 4236, and the U. S. Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA). Additionally, products bearing the AP Seal with Performance Certification or the CP Seal are certified to meet specific requirements of material, workmanship, working qualities, and color developed by ACMI and others through recognized standards organizations, such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Some products cannot attain this performance certification because no quality standard currently exists for certain types of products.
The CL Seal identifies products that are certified to be properly labeled in a program of toxicological evaluation by a medical expert for any known health risks and with information on the safe and proper use of these materials. This seal is currently replacing the HL Health Label (Cautions Required) Seal over a 5-year phase-in period. These two Seals appear on only 15% of the adult art materials in ACMI's certification program and on none of the children's materials. These products are also certified by ACMI to be labeled in accordance with the chronic hazard labeling standard, ASTM D 4236, and the U. S. Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA).