Did you know that the National Safety Council's NSC Safety Congress & Expo is happening from October 20-25?
We thought this would be appropriate to talk about some safety issues for using markers in the workplace. Yes, you read that right. It's not generally a topic that is at the top of your mind so it's a great time to bring it to your attention so you and your team understand how all markers are not held to the same standards.
Let's state some things that will make the lawyers happy first. Under normal general use, marking pens are 100% safe to use. Arro-Mark® manufactures and supplies markers to industrial clients. Most of our end-users are using the pens in the work place and are held to high standards in hazardous materials labeling, signage, and disclosure.
Arro-Mark® ships its products according to the highest standards of disclosure of the hazardous materials. When compared to the competition, Arro-Mark® goes the extra mile to disclose on their packaging and labeling the information needed to keep their products usable in the workplace.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (or VOC's) are materials that need to be listed cumulatively in the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) under section 9. When these materials break down, they pose health and environmental risks to air quality.
Facilities that deal with large amounts of these chemicals dedicate a lot of resources to documenting and measuring VOC's in their environment. These places deal with enormous quantities of chemicals on a daily basis. Arro-Mark's facility and the marking pens they create pose minute, and in most cases, undetectable VOC concerns. Regardless of the danger or environmental impact these fumes impose, Arro-Mark lists VOC contents of thier products.
Xylene is a bi-product of petroleum fuel production and is flammable. Alcohol has an even lower flash-point. In section 9 of Arro-Mark's Safety Data Sheets, they list the flash-points pertaining to each product mixture. When encased in their industrial quality marking pens, the markers are thoroughly protected from outside dangers.
Only prolonged exposure to direct flame will have any hope of igniting an encased marking pen. Even though these great lengths are taken to protect the contents of thier pens, the flammability needs to be disclosed and is included in all of the SDS paperwork and on their labeling.
Corrosiveness and Irritation
Xylene, MIBK, Alcohols, and some pigments and dyes are listed in thier SDS and on labelling as potential irritants to skin and corrosive to the eyes. Some dyes and pigments used in Arro-Mark's paints and inks also show an Irritant pictogram on their Safety Data Sheets. Although you may see a corrosive pictogram on some of the labeling or Safety Data Sheets, Arro-Mark guarantees that their products are not corrosive to metals.
Under general and proper use, a marking pen poses no danger in terms of corrosiveness to skin or eyes by way of splash-age or any other concern. Of course, Arro-Mark cannot guarantee the safety of products used improperly or outside the manufacturers recommended use.
Concerns when transporting or keeping paint or inks in Drums, Bottle, or Cans
Encased in a protective marking pen and confined to proper usage only, all of the above mentioned safety concerns are minimized. On the other hand, the same concerns mentioned before become exacerbated when keeping loose ink or paint in cans, bottles, and especially drums. This is because the risk of mishandling or spillage is higher.
Arro-Mark always prefers to sell their products in the form of marking pens but occasionally have orders and a need to ship our paints and inks in loose containers. Arro-Mark goes to every length necessary and beyond to ensure the safe transport and full disclosure of all handling instructions and hazardous materials concerns pertaining to each shipment.
Competitors are not held to same standards
Uni-paint is a 100% xylene paint marker but they do not list the same concerns about Xylene that Arro-Mark does, and they are able to be marketed to a wider audience because of their less "alarming" labeling. Uni-paint also doesn't go to the hazardous materials documentation lengths that Arro-Mark does.
Uni-paint are sold around the world and people assume that their marker is completely safe because of the absence of warnings. Arro-Mark's xylene paint markers pose the same risks but since Arro-Mark sells to industrial clientelle, their disclosure and display of hazard warnings are more prominent since their pens are made to be used on job site and the work-place.
Sharpie for instance, and many others contain alcohols and other chemicals that you wouldn't want to be on the skin or exposed to flame. Yet these particular markers have made it into every office, stationary store, and school in the country. They have also been AP or Art Product Certified which excuses these products from needing any hazardous warnings on the product or safety data sheets.
Pictograms and warning statements scare away customers
Arro-Mark's pens are no more dangerous or hazardous than the competition's but they remain dedicated to disclosing hazardous concerns to their full extent. It may hurt their sales by being so thorough, but they believe that the most important concern is for our customers who use their products in the workplace.
MSDS vs SDS
MSDS is Material Safety Data Sheets, while SDS is just Safety Data Sheets.
OSHA standardized the format, as well as simplifying the name, giving consistency with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS specifies what information should be included on the Safety Data Sheets and it's the same standard used in the European Union.
SDS is a simpler and more effective way to communicate the hazards of the chemicals used.
Essentially, they just dropped the "M"
You can learn more about SDS standards in this user-friendly 16 section format document.
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