Home Page Forums Membership Inquiries Membership Inquiry – Water Based Isocyanate Paint

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    Michelle Holden

    A WMCO member is interested in spraying water-based isocyanate paint on some of their products. Working with water-based isocyanate paint is a new direction they are taking. Does any other member use isocyanates, and if so, what policies and procedures, and protocols did you establish before starting the process?

    Can you help? They are especially interested in policies/procedures/protocols for air flow, filtration, air quality measures, worker protection, storage, and disposal. If you are willing to share your experience spraying water-based isocyanate paint let us know.

    Michelle Holden

    I do not have experience with these terms.
    I would suggest study the MSDS and the lean on the supplier.


    Michelle Holden

    Water based paints are not only beneficial for the environment, but typically are less messy and easier to dispose of. They also should be a benefit to your property insurance rates. Keep in mind if you use a water based stain/paint and still finish with an oil based varnish/lacquer/topcoat, this will still keep your insurance rates up!

    This has already happened to the vehicle industry – they use water based paints but the topcoat is still oil based.

    Lastly, keep in mind that in an atomized state even lower volatile products become flammable – I used to demonstrate this by lighting a match to a small pile of flour (it would not ignite however if I threw it up in the air and lit the flour it would burn quite impressively).

    Isocyanate paint is still hazardous to human exposure and adequate protection still is required.

    Hopefully I’ve answered the question for you.


    Michelle Holden

    We sell 2-K water based polyurethanes that contain isocyanates. As a rule the levels that are emitted during spraying are usually below the threshold level that requires special protection or reporting. Unfortunately because the SDS will state that there are isocyanates present a Ministry of Labour inspector may require proof that this is true or will require the shop to proceed with the required reporting and advanced PPE typically used when working with solvent based polyurethanes commonly used in the auto refinish sector. This would mean having in place a safe handling plan for the use of the material and providing the customers with fresh air supplied respirators. In the past some of our customers have had an environmental air quality assessment done which monitors the air for isocyanates during a work day. The last test we had done in 2019 was around $7000.00 for a shop with two booths. It was determined that the level of isocyanates did not reach the LEL level to require any special handling or PPE. If the member would like I could forward them the name of the company that did the environmental assessment. We still provided assistance for our customer with creating a safe handling process to ensure that there employees are informed and aware but I think any supplier would do the same.


    Tony Colanardi
    General Manager

    60 Malcolm Road Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1K 1A9
    Email: tony@royalcitypaint.com
    Office: 519-837-3820
    Toll Free in Ontario: 1-800-401-7773
    Fax: 519-837-2014

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