Whiteboard markers are used extensively across many industries (including schools, homes, offices and stores) and by people of all ages, but have you ever thought about whether the chemicals used in the ink of these pens pose any health risks? Probably not, and you may be shocked to learn that these markers can pose serious health problems if used incorrectly.
Some whiteboard markers contain methyl isobutyl ketone, a harmful chemical that can irritate the eyes and nose, cause feelings of weakness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and coordination problems through short-term use. Long-term use can cause headaches, nausea, an enlarged liver, burning in the eyes, intestinal pain, weakness and insomnia. And this only refers to simply opening the pen and using it to write on a whiteboard.
Accidentally getting marker that contains methyl isobutyl ketone on your skin can cause redness, dry skin and even pain. Unfortunately, there is no remedy for such irritation.
It is believed that there are close to 100 deaths associated with inhalant abuse each year. People who use these markers for the purpose of inhaling them can experience short-term memory loss, hearing loss, limb spasms, permanent brain damage, bone marrow damage, liver and kidney damage, possible fetal effects, and even Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome.
As you can see, the health risks associated with the use of whiteboard markers are alarming. To prevent yourself or someone you know from becoming affected, make sure that you use your pens in moderation and only buy ones that do not contain methyl isobutyl ketone. You should dispose of any in your home or workplace that do.