Every decade or two a “new” material becomes the darling of big business, investment capital, manufacturing, and promotion. The method of promotion is typically ubiquitous propaganda driving adoption. The darling of today seems to be a true devil – graphene nanoparticles. It has garnered and attracted some of the biggest investment the world has ever seen.
We’re all familiar with ceramics, we’ve used them most of our lives, from cooking to carrying water and similar applications. It’s not the strongest material out there, prone to cracking and shattering. So called advances in materials technology have permitted specific techniques in strengthening ceramics for use as a coatings material. Hence comes graphene nano-particles to strengthen and reinforce ceramics as a part of a matrix of mesh network in the material. The bottom line is that such additives in ceramic-based coatings may add some impressive additional durability to such surface treatments and even some performance enhancements for what is perhaps an unknown and varying period of time such as seen in ceramic coated automobile surfaces, providing an easy to clean, non-stick surfaces. But what we have to ask ourselves is; “at what cost?” And I am not referring to the direct monetary expense of such treatments, although they are ridiculously expensive.
We’ve all witnessed a pattern emerge time and time again, in so very many areas of business from pharmaceuticals to the coatings industry, from agriculture to cosmetics. Technological new fangledness motivates profiteering at the expense of our personal and environmental health. Yet big industry and the Wall Street and Euro banksters care only for their bottom lines. They will do whatever it takes to get away with making viral the desire for and shift towards the latest boondoggle at the expense of the unsuspecting consumer for as long as they can possibly get away with it. And when the gig is up and everyone is hip to the scam, rarely if ever, are the damage awards and other potential forms of blowback ever more than a mere fraction of a pittance of what they have generated in profits. Think about how they laced cigarettes with toxic and addictive poisons for over a century while initially touting them as healthful, or the cancer-causing glyphosate still in use in farming and gardening, and now found in nearly every drop of rainwater, or the Prozac and oxycontin trends that sadly skyrocketed addiction and suicide, the list goes on and on and on. Just think for a moment about the non-stick coatings for pots and pans, carpet, and clothing that turned out to be “forever chemicals” like PFOA, PFAS, and PTFE that are now haunting our entire planet.
The latest craze, fad, or more accurately propaganda campaign in the finish coatings industry is ceramic and graphene coatings. Laced with graphene nanoparticles needed for viable strength, once again finishers and those using these treated surfaces are confronted with exposure to deadly toxins. Nano-graphene dangers are very well documented. So one must ask why would anyone want to cover a natural finish with an unnatural potentially highly toxic coating that will eventually need repair and replacement? There are other issues with ceramic finish including how easy it is to literally ruin your project, achieve a failed result, and let’s not forget the ridiculously high cost of such finish material. It truly is head-shaker why anyone would even consider using, let alone promoting, such a product for wood projects.
I am just going to come out and say it… some people have no shame, they will do anything for money. Profits and lies over truth and altruism is the current zeitgeist in today’s media and the finish industry itself. The blame lies first and foremost with the manufacturers and is spread from there. Big chemical really doesn’t care about you and your family, and they don’t give a crap about your customers’ well-being either. Many of the dealers and distributors are well-meaning but they have once again been duped by big-chemical. Some have either neglected to do their homework in considering the safety of such products or they are among those that just don’t care and are promoting Ceramic on-top in order to hitch a ride on the newest profit-making scheme. For example, a Western Canadian woodworkers supply company, which (at the time of my writing this blog) offers no Safety Data Sheets on their website while bragging about graphene content in their own brand of OEM and extremely expensive (overpriced) graphene laced ceramic coatings. They are suggesting that you put this toxic soup over wood projects already treated with other finishes. I can understand the sense of inadequacy if one is using a weak incomplete finish like most popular brands of Euro hardwax oils, polyurethane, or varnish. They know these are insufficient coatings and hence they are attempting to upsell you to into a ceramic coating on-top. This scam not only plays into your own subconscious awareness about the short comings of the popular brand finishes, but it also validates the point of the inadequacy of such finishes. Still, there’s no excuse to make things even worse! Why anyone would ever listen to another word such people have to say is beyond me, for it is obvious that they just don’t care if they poison you or if they entice you to ruin your project as long as they can turn a profit.
When we consider a finish coating, especially something going on a table or a floor, a car, or a boat (all of which get a ton of direct contact and are exposed to various environmental stresses) we have to consider both the immediate toxicity and exposure risks in applying the product as well as the long-term environmental implications of its eventual breakdown and wear. What will be leaching into the environment? What impact will it have on groundwater, the atmosphere, people, and wildlife? What is actually happening when the project calls for refinishing which in such coatings entails stripping or sanding off that coating?
The toxicity of nano-graphene is no joke and it’s no secret either.We have yet to discover the long-term environmental damage to aquifers, plants, wildlife, pets, and humans from nano-graphene leaching and I expect they will be far-reaching. However, there is extensive data on the detrimental effects of direct interaction with such material which reveals what we can expect to be the ultimate fallout. I behoove the reader to click the link in the footnote I have provided below where you will find no less than SIXTY scientific reports detailing the toxicity of nano-graphene.‘
If ceramic coatings are so superior to other finishes why are the very same peddlers and promoters selling repair kits for it? And why are some of them offering various tiers of quality or protection of this material? If you are wondering if the graphene can ever be released from the product, just ask yourself – what happens when you abrade the surface, or while it breaks down, and what is released into the atmosphere when you are finishing and/or refinishing such a project? With an average molecular weight of 12.01 graphene nano particles are extremely light and incredibly small, the thickness is so slight (making it incredibly sharp) as to make razor blades look like wooden sticks. The extreme toxicity and carcinogenicity of graphene nano-particles used in ceramic coating formulations is no laughing matter; it is simply horrifying.
In the final analysis, any coating on top, no matter how strong it purports to be, is in essence an abomination on a wood surface. No matter how use to seeing it we are, it is unnatural after all. Such finishing material essentially defeats the very purpose of using wood in the first place as it creates an artificial barrier between the wood and the user, a barrier which will in the future need removal and replacement if the surface is subject to wear inducing usage and environmental stresses. These barriers never look better over time, they only degrade. Failure can occur in such finishes even when there is no wear-inducing usage as the coefficient of expansion and contraction of wood, and such finished often do not match. That is why you see finishes fail perplexingly over time on projects such as interior doors, paneling, wood trim, etc. So please don’t ruin your project with tricky-to-apply, very expensive, and highly toxic “ceramic coatings” because if you do, you will likely be sorry one way or another.
We suggest that if you work with wood, or are finishing any other materials, don’t slather them in plastics, don’t use weak “so called” hard wax oil finishes with graphene reinforced ceramic on-top or any other toxic chemical soups. Let wood be wood, finish it with toxin free Odie’s Oil which protects, beautifies, and stabilizes the wood, easily, safely, and naturally. We will never advocate for another finish of any sort to be used over our finishes as they are completely unnecessary. In fact, they will negate all the specifically engineered qualities and attributes of the Odie’s finishing system like the ability to easily and seamlessly do spot repairs and touch ups, provide an unparalleled tactile experience with the surface and of course the natural inherent beauty of an Odie’s finish. Odie’s finishes live harmoniously with the wood or medium its applied to and to contaminate this symbiotic relationship is just simply wrong.