Now on my third whiteboard paint review with this SketchPaint Whiteboard Paint Review. After going back and forward with Escreo and reviewing their product I needed a short break… Thankfully the day job is picking up so I’m continuing my series of whiteboard reviews albeit they are taking a lot longer than I anticipated. Who would have thought the world of whiteboard paint would be so onion like!
So far I’ve uncovered some concerning marketing practices with suppliers selling risky products to unsuspecting consumers. This boils down to the fact that many, if not all, of these paints contain isocyanates. Products that contain these chemicals are for professional use only so beware!
You can read my other reviews here: Smarter Surfaces Whiteboard Paint Review, Escreo Whiteboard Paint Review, MagPaint SketchPaint Whiteboard Paint Review, Remarkable Whiteboard Paint Review, WriteyPaint Whiteboard Paint Review & Bauhaus Swingcolor Whiteboard Paint Review.
Some Background on Hexamethylene Diisocyanate (Isocyanates) in DIY Paints
I’m now getting my head around Isocyanates after some painful research and I’ve discovered 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 coming into the UK, but that’s a different topic!
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.
So, here we go again… another whiteboard paint claiming to be something it’s not!
Firstly, Sketch Paint, which is part of MagPaint Europe, have done a nice job on the website. It’s simple and easy to navigate and to be fair to them all the safety information was available on the site to download.
However the problem that arose when I started reading the information on the site which did not match what was being sold. Their website claims that it “contains 0% Volatile Organic Substances (VOC), is odourless and harmless to humans and the environment.” Yet again the hardener contains isocyanates, which are harmful to humans. Their MSDS also states that it does contain VOCs which directly contradicts the website. Strange!
Unlike with my Escreo review, you don’t need to go searching for the MSDS this time. It’s readily available on their website and stands in stark contrast to what the imagery would lead you to believe…
SketchPaint Whiteboard Paint Review
I’m trying to be totally fair to SketchPaint, as in all my reviews. At this point there is clearly a trend where whiteboard paint companies think they’re allowed to sell their products to the public when regulations say they are not. Why do they think it’s acceptable to sell a dangerous product that poses a serious health risk to consumers? Worse still use images of children painting with hazardous material in their marketing?
I reached out directly to SketchPaint to pose the same questions I asked in my review of Escreo Original Whiteboard Paint. I outlined the regulations in the UK for the handling of isocyanates and asked them why they were selling these products to the public.
- Inaccuracies in the technical info and and what is portrayed on the website
- Misleading marketing (targeted to home and education when it contains specialist chemical (not suitable for home or DIY use)
- Requires professional installation due to specialist chemicals
- UK / EU requires a Risk Assessment and Method Statement before use in a workplace
- Potentially highly dangerous to the public who unwittingly install it without doing so safely
- Sale of products containing these chemicals is supposed to be to professionals only
The long and the short of it is:
1: Sketch Paint does contain Isocyanates
2: Sketch Paint does contains VOCs ( or at least I’m 99% sure it does)
3: Sketch Paint is harmful to humans versus their website statement
4: Only for Professional Use
5: It requires a risk assessment required before use in the workplace
6: The website has many misleading, in fact false, statements versus their own technical documentation
7: Even after I questioned the Isocyanates in their SketchPaint, they tried to tell me they were not above the legal limit. Nothing about the fact I was not a professional, therefore the legal limit is zero…
I think consumers like me need to be made aware of companies who use marketing practices like this to sell a product which is dangerous and not suitable for sale to consumers. I hope SketchPaint or their parent MagPaint Europe do the right thing and immediately address this before someone like a child in the image on their website suffers the consequences of using materials like Isocyanates with precautions…
Because of the Isocyanate content and the uncertainty over the VOC content like Escreo, I decided not to apply the product on safety grounds. However my online searching and other reviews / comments indicate their whiteboard paint does work. So if you have a professional installer who can do the installation, just make them aware of the hardener MSDS. You’ll need to ensure they do the risk assessment, the room or building is vacant and well ventilated and that they wear the appropriate PPE.
Their MSDS is available here if you want to have a look yourself.