I was sent another whiteboard paint product to look at. This time to Australia… Thanks to Sydney Decorators for reaching out. I have to say I’m amazed at how popular whiteboard paint is globally. Covid has without doubt introduced me to many new things. It’s Dulux Australia’s whiteboard paint this time! This whiteboard paint is a lesson in how whiteboard paints that contain isocyanates should be marketed and sold.
If you haven’t read my previous reviews, I’ve uncovered many brands selling products with these dangerous chemicals (isocyanates). They are not safe for DIY users and should only be handled by professionals. My WriteyPaint Whiteboard Paint Review, which is also available in Australia, is an example of these paints.
There are serious restrictions about the use of paints containing isocyanates such as some whiteboard paints in Australia. Yet the likes of Writeyboard Whiteboard Paint seem to be getting away with it scot free; selling these very harmful products to unsuspecting customers.
For the best whiteboard paints in my opinion (without isocyanates) I would recommend either Smarter Surfaces Whiteboard Paint or IdeaPaint Whiteboard Paint. Both are safe and easy to apply. They produce great results and are stocked in Australia.
This Dulux dry erase product contains isocyanates but is correctly labelled for professional use only! Well done Dulux Australia. But at the same time Dulux is a company that should not be selling these types of paints at all where it’s likely they will be used by non professional installers. Luckily there are alternative whiteboard paint solutions out there that don’t use Isocyanates.
Dulux Australia’s whiteboard paint should act as a guide to the companies selling their whiteboard paint with isocyanates. Dulux clearly labels the product for professionals only.
In their application guide they clearly stated that this product should not be sprayed. This highlights the extreme dangers of spraying paints with isocyanates. They perform well on the duty of care they have to their customers by stating these dangers. However, it would be better if they included the requirement to wear PPE, although this may be different in Australia than it is in the UK.
As this is a professional only product (and as I’m not based in Australia!) I can’t test the actual performance of the product. I think it’s a good one to call out though, as they have correctly marketed the product.
For those of you who have made it this far I have done some quick research on the whiteboard paint products available online in Australia that contain Isocyanates and should be avoided unless you are a professional and have the resources to take the precautions listed by Safe Work Australia.
Whiteboard Paints in Australia that contain Isocyanates:
- Writey Board Whiteboard Paint Australia – you can read my full WriteyPaint Whiteboard Paint Review which points out the true contents of this product and the dangers associated with it.
- Resene Write-on Wall Paint – details on the isocyanates are here (at least they advise contacting them before spraying.)
- Vicinity Whiteboard Paint
The Background on Hexamethylene Diisocyanate (Isocyanates) in Australia
Australia has its own regulations regarding the use of isocyanates and precautions required. This applies not just to whiteboard paints, but to any paints or chemicals containing isocyanates.
The main points are a PCBU (person conducting a business or undertaking) where Isocyanates are being used, are required to provide health monitoring to workers if there is a significant risk to the worker’s health because of exposure to a hazardous chemical listed in schedule 14 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 (cl. 368).
In relation to health monitoring, PCBU (cl. 369 to 378) duties include:
- informing workers of the requirements for health monitoring
- using a registered medical practitioner with experience in occupational health monitoring
- providing details to the medical practitioner
- obtaining a copy of the health monitoring report
- providing a copy of the health monitoring report to SafeWork NSW if the worker has developed a disease or injury and/or the report contains any recommendations on remedial measures at the workplace
- keeping records of health monitoring for 30 years.
Where risks to health and safety cannot be eliminated the hierarchy of controls must be applied in accordance with cl. 36 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 to minimise risks. For instance:
- Where practicable, substitute isocyanate containing or liberating products with an alternate material.
- Ensure adequate engineering controls (e.g. local exhaust ventilation, automated processes or spray booths) are in place.
- Use appropriate tools or personal protective equipment to avoid skin contact with isocyanate containing chemicals.
- Use well maintained and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as full-face respirators, overalls, safety goggles and chemical-resistant gloves including a program to correctly fit, instruct on the use and ensure regular maintenance of PPE.
- Ensure safety equipment is available (e.g. eye wash and showers).
Ensure that instructions and controls outlined in SDS and product labels are followed and that workers are provided with suitable information, training, instruction and supervision when using, storing and handling hazardous chemicals (cl. 39 and 379).
PCBUs with duties under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 must review and revise control measures, as necessary, to maintain a work environment so far as is reasonably practicable, that is without risk to health or safety (cl. 38).
You can find more useful information and the rules around isocyanates here: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/guide-handling-isocyanates