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Industrial Coatings - Is All Polyurethane Toxic?


ARTICLES / DANGERS OF ISOCYANATES

Industrial Coatings - Is All Polyurethane Toxic?

Industrial Coatings - Is All Polyurethane Toxic?
December 2, 2012

There are many industrial floor coatings that can be used to coat industrial or garage floors, but most common applications are epoxy and polyurethane. These traditional coatings also include a variety of toxic isocyanates that are located within the coating itself. Individuals and businesses need to be aware when they are purchasing standard industrial coatings, which are addressed in OSHA standards. These are standards for coatings that are applied in the construction and shipyards industries.

The dangers of traditional industrial floor coatings are many and varied. The most common danger with these coatings as mentioned is the use of toxic isocyanates, which are found in coatings that are applied when individuals use a traditional polyurethane coating. In order to avoid future complications, those who are using these coatings should find options that are free of toxins prior to application.

Unfortunately, the industrial floor coatings containing toxic isocyanates are all too common. The problem with these coatings in a closed space is that they can cause irritation of the mucous membranes along with chest tightness, asthma and other lung problems. They have also been known to cause cancer in animals. Whereas, asthma and lung problems are the main risk with these products, they can also cause eye, ear, nose and throat irritations.

Due to their highly volatile nature commercial polyurethane coatings are often a problem for the environment and human health, which is why 25 states now have regulations regarding their use.

Alternatives to polyurethane with toxic isocyanates include Green Polyurethane, a hybrid polyurethane coating which can be used as a highly durable floor coating or paint.

Advantages of green coatings:

+These contain zero VOC or toxic chemicals and no solvents
+ They are also 3 to 4 times more stain resistant than other industrial coatings.
+ They offer greater adhesiveness and other stickiness than standard coatings.
+ They are Safe and Sanitary, which can be applied in conditions involving extreme cold and excessive sun.
+Increased safety with no need for shutdown during application.

The cost of Green Polyurethane is comparable to any other high end two part polyurethane system, yet requires less expense in application thereby saving businesses money, while supporting green initiatives for a better planet.