Suffering from a serious bout or deja vu now… So far in researching these products both my Escreo Whiteboard Paint Review and MagPaint SketchPaint Whiteboard Paint Review uncovered products containing isocyanates. They seem to go to a lot of effort to make it difficult for a consumer to realise they are purchasing a potentially dangerous product. Moving on to my Remarkable Whiteboard Paint Review and yet again this product contains isocyanates!
It’s definitely a more common chemical ingredient than not in these products….
On the positive side Remarkable has the best dry / cure time to usable in just 48 hours which is impressive and the best I’ve seen so far.
However, the shelf life of this product is only 6 months! I’d be careful the product isn’t out of date. It would be best to check how many weeks it has left before it cannot be used. Once mixed you have 45 mins to apply the paint. This is probably the lowest I’ve seen, so it is important to really plan ahead. You will want to have everything ready otherwise the paint will go hard before you get time to apply it.
I gave remarkable a 2 out of 5 because the USA has different rules and isocyanates so I think that has to be taken into consideration (it would have been a 1 out of 5 otherwise). Here in the UK it’s available through Boards Direct the Remarkable Whiteboard Paint UK Distributor. They sell the product with no mention of these dangers. There is no MSDS on the Boards Direct site and no mention of the restriction to professional use only and the health and safety requirements. In fact it specifically omits these very important issues. It does mention its asbestos free on the remarkable whiteboard paint instructions which is a relief!
You can read my other reviews here: Smarter Surfaces Whiteboard Paint Review, Escreo Whiteboard Paint Review, MagPaint SketchPaint Whiteboard Paint Review, WriteyPaint Whiteboard Paint Review & Bauhaus Swingcolor Whiteboard Paint Review.
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!
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.
Remarkable Whiteboard Paint Review
Remarkable are one of the bigger whiteboard paint suppliers and are based in the US. Their website claims it’s 100% environmentally friendly which I know at this point in my whiteboard paint reviews is just not accurate.
Their product does contain isocyanates… They are the first company to at least call attention to the real health dangers of this component in their MSDS. However, they don’t have anything about this being a product only for professional use anywhere on their site as is required by UK and EU law. At a minimum their UK partner, Boards Direct, should have this information on their website.
Remarkable Whiteboard Paint Review
As I mentioned previously, I made the decision not to purchase anymore products containing isocyanates. They are not suitable for me to install, so there’s no added benefit in ordering them. I am still questioning the companies that do sell products with these chemicals. These products should not be sold to the public. I think these companies should be answerable for this.
These are the main points:
- 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