The polyurea and polyurethane coating industries have become increasingly important as the functional applications have increased. The following uses have been identified and highly employ protective coatings:
– Theme parks
– truck bed liners
– agricultural equipment
Side Effects of a Superior Product
Lung infections, sore eyes and skin rashes, neurological damage, kidney and liver damage along with others are all symptoms of exposure to polyurea and/or polyurethane either by vapor or direct contact. Dangerous chemicals are applied frequently in many industries and environments. The key is that after they cure or are applied, there is a reasonable threshold they attain that makes them safe. Like after painting, you notice the “paint smell” subsides after 3-4 days and all is good. Well, it’s not really like that, but that is a simple comparison.
What is Safe?
Safe simply means that there are no immediate or long term side effects to touching or being near a material for some period of time at some concentration in some environment. One of the most obvious examples of NOT safe is the bi-product of Nuclear Power Plants. These materials are so hazardous that they are stored underground in water tight containers FOREVER. Yet, we still produce them on a daily basis in the name of “clean energy”. So, some group of lawmakers determined that the risk is worth the reward.
Is this worth the RISK
Radioactive Waste in Washington causes ground water hazard potential. The Governor Inslee stated that there was no current health risk because it would take some time for the leaks to breach ground water or the Columbia River. WHAT??!!
Why are household chemicals considered safe?
They contain cancer causing or otherwise dangerous (to the respiratory, skin or other organs) chemicals that evaporate into the air you breathe or are absorbed through the skin when in direct contact. Still, people use Xylene, Lacquer Thinner, gasoline, bleach, Chlorine and other dangerous chemicals daily in an effort to clean, prepare, construct and operate their lives.
You see the warnings on the labels and hopefully you follow the safety precautions as directed. Unfortunately, sometimes people hold an idea of “if I cannot see it, it cannot hurt me”. This is a deadly mentality to carry when working with chemicals in general.
Bleach for instance has horrible side effects if used without gloves and face mask or used in a closed environment. Yet, we use it every day on our countertops, toilets and walls. The long term side effects are not discussed much because the industry would rather assume that consumers are following all safety practices.
Handling is Key
Millions of articles, books, directions, guides address the issue of safely handling materials. MSDS sheets exist to provide necessary handling procedures and exposure prevention information. OSHA exists to provide safety regulations to the US workforce. Small business owners really need to place importance on materials handling, application and preventative measures for exposure. They are typically less regulated and may have better odds for cutting corners because there is less accountability.
Applying Polyurea or Polyurethane like a dumbass
Simply put, if you are spraying a polyurea or polyurethane material and not wearing proper respirator and protective clothing you are walking a tight rope. Similarly, if you are spraying it outside with no booth than you are exposing others to a very dangerous situation. If you are spraying it inside with no protection you are asking for it.
“Polyurethanes are made from isocyanates, the chemicals associated with the world’s worst chemical accident in India in 1984 (the Bhopal disaster, which involved the accidental release into the atmosphere of methyl isocyanate from a Union Carbide factory). They cause lung irritation or lung damage and are sensitising chemicals, meaning that after sufficient exposure, one can become highly sensitive in an allergic way, reacting to even very small doses of the chemicals (5, 10). They may be released as monomers from both water-based and organic solvent-based polyurethane varnishes. The combination of volatile aromatics and the release of isocyanates make polyurethanes one of the most hazardous interior-use products on the market. “
Safe Polys that are Comparable to Dangerous Ones
There are safe poly hybrids that have the same physical characteristics of polyureas and polyurethanes but don’t have the same negative side-effects seen with the Rhino Lining, Line-X, Ultimate Linings, Qwikliner and other coatings companies.
Blowing Your Mind
In an interview with a polyurethane applicator we were told that the representative of one of the above companies specifically stated that they were told, “There is no problem spraying our polyurea. It is completely safe and environmentally friendly”.
Why on earth would a bed liner company risk the life of others to simply make a deal? Maybe a deal with the Devil!
Do your research if you are a body shop owner or repair business who also applies spray coatings like Rhino Lining, Line-X, Scorpion or Spray-Lining bedliner.