Yes, many common and popular finishes have a harmful ingredient, known as isocyanate. Isocyanate is an ingredient in the catalyst that is activated to cause the finish to bond. Not only does it have strong voc’s (volatile organic compounds) that are toxic, it is also a known carcinogenic compound. According to an industry expert, approximately 11-14% of tradesmen working with it have physical reactions that prohibit them from working with it.
Chris, the owner of Sparkle Surface Care has experienced physical reactions multiple times, including odd swelling, and more. After 3 experiences using a popular finish having this ingredient, we stopped working with it all together. Not only that, we had a colleague, who did not work for us, tell us that he became intoxicated with it and drove into a toll collectors booth. And to top it off, Chris, using another chemical composite absorbed into his body despite wearing a tyvek suit, gloves, a respirator, glasses and goggles. His vision was impaired so badly he could not drive, and ended up in the emergency room until he recovered.
We prefer to work with Vermont Natural Coating’s finish system, which uses whey as the binding agent. It is clean water certified, and does not expose anyone before, during or after the finish “coating” process. When used, it is a commercial rated finish that performs beautifully, and is completely safe.