The list keeps getting longer… We now have four 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:
Next on the growing list is Writey Paint Dry Erase Paint Kit. Again, this product contains isocyanates, so should not be sold to the public.
- There are inaccuracies in the technical info and and what is portrayed on the website
- There is misleading marketing (targeted to home and education when it contains specialist chemical that is 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
- Very hard to get technical information, not easily available
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 & 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.
Writey Paint Whiteboard Paint Kit Review
Another US whiteboard paint producer, Writey Paint uses the fact that there’s no need to mix their whiteboard paint as a USP: “Unlike imitators, there is no mixing of can.” I suppose this way your isocyanates come neatly packaged in the one place…
This imagery is a nice misdirection that would lead you to reasonably think this product is safe for anyone to install. However, this is not the case. You can see from the MSDS below that this product contains isocyanates. UK and EU law states that isocyanates are only supposed to be sold to professionals. This is because they carry serious health dangers and require safety assessments, risk statements prior to instal, precautionary handling, PPE and even respiratory protection.
Writey Paint have really gone the extra mile to hide their MSDS. I had asked for it from them, but in the meantime managed to find it buried in the FAQ section at the very bottom of the FAQ for paint.
The safety sheet is the only place that states this product contains isocyanates. However, it’s not obvious that these chemicals are used in the product. The web pages featuring the product have no indication that it contains isocyanates. Or that it is limited to professional use only. This is required by law.
Interestingly, both US companies I’ve looked at don’t have the VOC levels on their sites. I’m not sure if this is a regulation in the US, but it is required in the UK and EU. The only eco claim they make is the amount of trees they’ve planted.
I’m not sure this would offset the harmful effects of their products if their customers really knew what was going on here…
Writey Whiteboard Paint Review Conclusion
As I mentioned previously, I made the decision not to purchase anymore products containing isocyanates. They are not suitable for ordinary members of the public to install, so there’s no added benefit in ordering them.
This is another product that is unsafe for general use and requires a professional to install it.