I’ve been researching whiteboard paint products for a while now, after the initial issues I faced with Escreo. Here come the Swiss and the DUPLI-COLOR Whiteboard Paint review. This is the latest in my series on these products. A friend in Switzerland kindly pointed it out.
Since reviewing Escreo I’ve uncovered many more products containing isocyanates. These chemicals are really dangerous. When it comes to the application of these paints, under law they are not supposed to be sold to the public. The companies selling these products go to a lot of effort to make it difficult for a consumer to realise they are purchasing a potentially dangerous product.
There are too many companies selling whiteboard paint under the guise of being safe for public use. In fact, under EU and UK legislation, all of these products should be sold to professionals only:
DUPLI-COLOR Whiteboard Paint Review of Safety
It’s bad… Real bad! The safety sheet confirms isocyanates are present and then advises its suitable for spraying with no mention of the very serious health risks.
Motip Dupli have completely resigned any duty of care to the customer here. It’s completely inexcusable and outright dangerous. They even have this statement on the instruction sheet, I kid you not!
“This application-technological information is given to the best of our knowledge. The notes mentioned herein are, however, non-binding and do not exempt you from own tests to see whether the products supplied by us are suitable for your special application. The use and processing is beyond our control and therefore exclusively in the responsibility of the user. MOTIP DUPLI is let off the liability, unless the liability-based incident is caused by a fault incurred to MOTIP DUPLI”
That is right up there with Escreo for having zero standards. There really are no positives here.
The MSDS states that respiratory protection is not required when applying this product in a well ventilated area. This is not accurate. When a paint contains isocyanates, you should always wear PPE. Furthermore if you are spraying this product you need an oxygen fed respirator.
They do state that in case of intensive or prolonged exposure a respiratory filter device should be used. But not clearly warning users that the product contains isocyanates is unforgivable.
Fortunately this dangerous product is not available here in the UK. It is only available in Switzerland, Germany, France and Italy. Germany is taking isocyanates so seriously, they are currently proposing a ban on all but industrial applications.
I have added the MSDS in the languages they have and the instructions in English with their disclaimer and advising spraying is no problem
Some Background on Hexamethylene Diisocyanate (Isocyanates) in DIY Paints
When an MSDS is composed under CLP Regulations, products containing Hexamethylene Diisocyanate (HDI) are automatically flagged up as for “professional use only”.
These regulations came into force throughout the EU in January 2009. There are strict limits for exposure to HDI (see Use in Coatings on Page 16.) It seems these regulations came into place and the companies that sell these products updated their spec sheets, but neglected to tell their customers. Hopefully with Brexit the control of these harmful chemicals will continue to be regulated, but that’s a different topic!
Under new restrictions in the EU, suppliers of diisocyanates shall ensure that the recipient is provided with training materials and courses in the official language(s) of the Member State(s) where the substance(s) or mixture(s) are supplied. The training shall take into consideration the specificity of the products supplied, including composition, packaging, and design.
- The training will be conducted either as classroom training/virtual classroom training in house, by a consultant or by public authorities or as online training;
- The trainings may be conducted through accredited trainers;
- The user – either the employer of the user or the self-employed person – of diisocyanates must document the completion of the training;
- Each employee will have to be trained once every five years, with the content and training duration depending on the use of diisocyanates in combination with the concrete task;
- The transition period during which industry must prepare for the training requirements is 3 years as of publication in the official European Journal (24 August 2023).
- The trainings must comply with provisions set by the relevant Member State in which the user operates. Member States may continue to apply their own requirements as long as the minimum requirements of the Restriction are met.
- Training can be conducted in various ways, including off-site/on-site training courses, E-learning, integration of training into the product presentation;
- The Member States must report on their established training requirements, the number of reported cases on occupational asthma and occupational respiratory and dermal disease, any national occupational exposure levels and information on enforcement activities.
Before such products can be used, a risk assessment should be undertaken according to local Health & Safety legislation. In the UK, the risk assessment should be carried out in accordance with The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. In a workplace setting this is the responsibility of the employer. However, when HDI containing products are sold into a DIY setting (i.e. non-professional use), no risk assessment will be undertaken. It is for this reason that these products should be only sold for “professional use only”.
Only after a risk assessment is undertaken can the correct PPE and handling of the product be identified for the environment and circumstances of its use.
Isocyanates are one of the leading causes of occupational asthma in the UK. General information on isocyanates in the workplace can be found here:
This is why the reply from any company that sells these products in the UK and EU should be: “our products contain isocyanates, so, yes, we should only sell to professionals.” There is no middle ground here. These are harmful chemicals and it’s outrageous that companies are selling them to the public.