Thursday, January 23, 2014

Selling Resin In Canada

An Open Letter To Canadian Friends and Colleagues
Who Wish to Sell Resin
In Their Online Shops, Stores or Classrooms

I have been writing and designing the Resin Crafts blog for over three years and I often get asked questions about resins that I do not use.  I use Environmental Technology Inc. (ETI) resins exclusively.  (http://eti-usa.com)

People want to know what I think about competitor products.

I have been worried that when asked in a busy trade show setting or on the fly that my answers do not represent all my opinions about the business of selling resin or resin clay in my home country Canada.  American laws and rules are different and since I do not live and work there, I will encourage you to do your own research if you are American and reading this note.

I have no issues with a competitive resin market place.  My viewpoint is not based on jealousy or because I do not want other companies to succeed.  My opinions are based on the research that I did to select my resin of choice.  It lead me to ETI who I ultimately lobbied to hire me to do their social media.  I asked them.

ETI products meet or exceed Heath Canada’s label requirements with the required warnings that inform and safeguard the consumer.  As a leading company in their field, they made a conscious effort early on to be responsible leaders in the market place by making every effort to inform the consumer about the safe handling and use of their products.

I respect them as a company because they adhere to several important principals.

1.         In Canada, these products must show warning labels clearly and precisely on the packaging and on the bottles/containers. This way you can make a decision about the product before purchasing.
2.         Resin (epoxy resins & hardeners) must be in childproof containers. No maybes.  This is why the packaging for ETI’s Jewelry Clay is so much bigger in Canada.  It meets this requirement.
3.         The packaging must be in French and English.  The instructions must be in French and English.  ETI’s materials are bi-lingual.  It is the reason they have very little space left for pretty imagery.
4.         Finally, ETI provides Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) authored by an independent toxicological lab and has posted them on their website for anyone to learn more about what is in their products.

If you have any resin products in your stores (or on-line shops,) from the USA or other countries that do not conform to points 1-3, you could be found liable for selling chemical products not meeting Health Canada requirements. You could face possible confiscation of products from your store and even face fines.  I don’t want this to happen to anyone who did not know these facts.

I contacted ETI many years ago in my quest to find the best resin information possible. I had a pregnant student registered to attend a class I was teaching and I wanted to know if it was safe for her.  ETI answered me very simply:  “No, why take the risk?  Children and pregnant women should not work with or handle resin.”  ETI explained to me that if I wanted to work with resin that I should learn to use it safely.  Hence my big open studio, gloves and a proper mask when sanding.

Do I think all resin manufacturers should provide this information?  YES.  Do they?  NO.  It is so easy to educate resin users how to work safely with these materials.  It won’t stop them from purchasing product.  Goodness knows there are many art materials and mediums that require safety measures.  Resin is just one of them and wearing gloves is such a simple habit to adopt.

Is ETI more toxic?  That is the question I get the most and it makes me realize that there is a lot of resin misinformation out there.  Health Canada does not regard epoxies in general as “TOXIC”, they do however classify epoxy resins and epoxy clay products as “Hazardous” products, which require warning information on the package to inform the customer and protect children.

If you have fallen for the “our resin is non-toxic” sales ploy ask your manufacturer “at what point in the process is your resin non-toxic?”  If they say “when cured,” they really need to tell you this before you mix a batch.  You should be wearing gloves throughout the mixing and pouring stages of your resin projects. Even better, request Material Safety Data Sheets from any company that sells you a resin product.  If they don’t have them….well, what I can I say.

ETI manufactures their resin products in California, known to be one of the strictest places in North America for chemical processing.  The plant is there and so is the chemical engineer.  ETI developed and owns the formulas for the resins they manufacture.  They are not resellers of resins made off-shore.  So if you have an issue, customer service (which ETI has) can walk you through what you need to know.  They can even walk right down to the factory floor to ask a question or make a general enquiry. 

For these reasons and so many more I will always happily recommend ETI products for both their quality and commitment to operating responsibly in Canada.  I know they go above and beyond in every other country they sell in too. They strive to be labeled, packaged and identified properly in every country they sell to.  They’ve been at it for almost 40 years.

One last point about price. Scrutinize resin products based on an ounce-by-ounce comparison.  ETI products are usually the least expensive.  This is not because they use inexpensive materials.  It is because as one of the largest purchasers of these materials in North America, their buying power affords them lower pricing then their competitors. These savings are passed directly to the consumer.  ETI prides themselves at offering high-grade professional products at competitive prices.

Resin is my medium.  I plan to use it for the rest of my life.  Understanding what it is and how it is manufactured is very important to me.  I hope this letter helps you to select a resin manufacturer to purchase from if you resell in Canada.  If you are a consumer and purchaser of resin products, I also hope this letter has encouraged you to take a closer look at any resin products you currently use.

ETI Material Safety Data Sheets linked here: 

ETI Article on Safety and Other Tips:  

ETI Customer Service Information: 

Health Canada Consumer Product Safety: 

If You Wish To Report Improperly Labeled Resins 
Health Canada Consumer Incident Reporting Forms: 

Resin Crafts Blog:
http://www.resincrafts.blogspot.ca/

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