Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The controversy over mdu and my thoughts on what might be in it

                     MDU stamping polish and what my thoughts are on what might be in it 

These are my own thoughts and ideas on this subject matter. This is only my theory, in my own words, as to the controversy over the product.

 Today I want to talk about Mundo de Unas stamping polish.
MDU is probably one of the best stamping polishes out there. It grabs the image well, the colors are vibrant, it dries fast, great color section, comes in mini or full size bottles…but there is one thing that bothers me about this stamping polish.
The simple fact there is no ingredient list.
At first I blew off the idea of it not having an ingredient list, however I keep seeing more and more people talk about this fact. I have seen a lot of woman talking about it and saying that they wanted to know what was in it for health reasons. There seemed to be a cause for concern when some woman were getting headaches and feeling dizzy after using the product. At one point I had heard some people were even vomiting after being exposed to the product. (probably due to having a headache)
This got me thinking a lot about what might cause this issue in a polish. Knowing fully well the maker would not release an ingredient list (people have asked before and were refused), this left me and many girls with 2 options, either buy at our own risk or just stay away from it. Some people don't know about the issues going on with this product, so they have bought it and have not been able to use it due to the smell and headaches. I knew that the FDA requires that all cosmetics have a label with the ingredient list on them (it doesn’t matter whether they are shipped in from another country or not), so why is there no ingredient list? To tell you the truth, all this did was make me think about it more.

 Why would she not give an ingredient list?
Was there something in it that should not be used in cosmetics? Could this actually be a danger to people?
I wanted to know at this point, I had too many question's that were unanswered. I figured at this point what would it hurt to try to figure it out?
My first thought was could it be house paint? I pulled out all kinds of paint to see if they stamped the same as MDU, knowing that a lot of people believed it was house paint. I tried this first. It was a no go, it worked for stamping in only one way. House paint can be picked up and placed on paper, but once applied to a nail it just smears really badly. (This was paint made for indoor use only, flat no gloss.)

You can see it did not come out well even on the paper in the photo on the right, so we can cross that off the list. Even on paper it smeared a little bit, so I took a look at some of the other paints it possibly could be, such as aerosol spray paint. This was a mess and of course did not work. I tried to just spray it in the tiny bowel but could not get enough without making a mess all over my desk and such, so I just passed on this as I could not see someone trying to get it out of the spray can. I then went back and looked at the  MDU web site to see that on each of the stamping polishes it stated there is acrylic resin in them. For those that do not know the most logical of resins in this case might be super glue. This gave me an idea! I took super glue, nail polish and pigment and mixed them together.
When I mixed it up it became very gooey in consistency. The nail polish and the super glue gave me a light color, so I stamped with it, but it was not like the MDU in color. So I added some green pigment. This time it was darker, but not as dark as the MDU brand. Looking at this it made me think more about the constancy of MDU, the pigment and the texture it has to it. MDU is thick, highly pigmented and picks up well for stamping and dries like a plastic, it is also oily. What kind of paint, polish or gloss would do all of this?

I then talked to my husband as to what he might think it could be. He has been painting for about 25 years, He said it smelled like paint thinner and model paint. WHAT!!!!!! OMG, of course this is what I was thinking. I went ahead and tested out model paint all by its self. This gave me a good vibrant color when stamping with it.As you can see the color is extremely vibrant, but there are small areas were the enamel paint did not pick up. Also, when you apply top coat it, it smears horribly depending on the brand of enamel paint. As you can see in the photo below.

So back to the drawing board I went. What could this be? This was on my brain for 2 whole weeks. I keep wondering what the smell was, why was it oily, how did it dry so fast? I tried several others things. All of them a huge fail in my corner. Some of them had me looking at the mixture thinking “What was I thinking when I had this idea?” But in the long run I think I figured it out. The first thing I looked at was the constancy of the bottle of MDU. It was thick but not terribly thick. Kind of like nail polish, so could it be enamel paint with nail polish? I went back and tested this theory. The polish in the photo below is a mix of clear nail polish and model paint.
What happened was not like MDU in the long run. It was ok at first and was smooth, but after several days it started to become thick and clumpy. If I added more nail polish it thinned it out but then color wasn’t as vibrant. So it was not that. I then looked at car paint, but this was way too thin. It was like a liquid that was close to a drink, its perfect for spaying out of an air brush. When I realized this I knew right away this could not be it either, never mind the smell was worse than anything I have ever smelled before.
There are 2 different kinds of acrylic paint, oil base and water base. Both are highly pigmented, but can be broken down to make water colors or a thick paste to use. The compounds are a little different chemically for each brand of acrylic paint. This again got me thinking. What if the acrylic MDU is using is just the paint and nail polish? Would this cause the smell of MDU? So I went back to work, but this just made a huge mess. It did not smell like MDU, it did not look like MDU and it would not stamp properly at all. 
So it was a big fail on my part. I then looked in to what acrylic resin is. This was a huge surprise to me, not only is this item used in nail glue, false nails, and so many other things, but it’s used in certain exterior house paints. Acrylic resin is a general term for a range of plastics made by polymerizing a monomer using heat and an initiator. The resin produced from methyl methacrylate monomer (MMA) is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or Acrylic resin. MMA is a transparent and colorless fluid substance.

How can it be in MDU? Acrylic nails don't smell anything like MDU. Something is off here. House paint was not an option, so then I came to block paint. This is a paint used for screen printing on fabric, wood and other things. I ordered a bottle of it, but when I tried this is just smeared and did not look right or feel right.
Few weeks later… I was in the paint store looking around, my husband asked if there was acrylic resin in the MDU. I agreed there was and we talked to Mark about this. (Mark is a man who makes paints) I explained to him what MDU was and how it worked and he told me it might be outside house paint. I shook my head and told him I tried house paint. He said the outside house paint has an additive to it, so it reacts differently. He said try it and tell him how it worked, so I took a can of outside house paint home. The brand I used is in the photo on the left side, it is rust-oleum protective paint in white.

My first thought when I got home was it could not be just this paint, so I started mixing paint thinner (mineral spirits) and universal pigment in white to the outside house paint. I mixed it up and at first it did not work, it looked like a blob of paint. I let it sit for about 30 to 40 min and OMG, I made stamping paint! Here is a photo of my first try. As you can see it smudged a little bit, so I let the paint sit for about another 30min.
The second try was much better. I got clean cut lines and it stamped very well.
Here is the second stamping I did when it was finally set. I made a few other colors and they came out well. The only things I could not figure out at this point was why it was not shiny like MDU and why is my formula so much thinner than MDU’s. It stamped great, I got vibrant colors and good imagery, but it still was not just like MDU.

I had to stop and really think about this. I took a few weeks off from figuring it out and then went back to it. What I need to do was really look at the stamping polish. Think about the constancy, the pigment, the smell and the overall substance of the product. I needed to think about how it worked, how the paint dried and how it picked up with the stamper. I also needed to think about what it looked like when it was dry. I needed to take it all in, to think about what I had learned about paint. About how it works, how it sets, how oil adds things to paint and how it dries, different textures etc. You might be thinking what does this have to do with nail polish and stamping paint?
Well it has a lot to do with nail polish. Nail polish is a type of paint.
Paint comes in several forms. We use paint for all kinds of things, from painting our houses to painting our bodies. Most paint is made of solvents and pigments, some paints contain harmful toxic chemicals and others do not. If you want to know if there are harmful chemicals in your paint you can look up MSDS sheets on line, call the company to get the ingredient list from them or look at the back of the label. (some companies have their ingredient list online and not on the bottles or cans) Some of these chemicals may also be known as voc's. Here is a list of some of the chemicals that are found to be harmful in some way and are found in paint. These are chemicals that are released into the air as the paint dries: toluene, xylene, ethyl acetate, formaldehyde, methylene chloride and glycol. (if you would like more information on one or more of the chemicals on the list you can look it up - this link has a lot of chemicals that are a toxic, not just the kind found in paint)

Nail polish and the MDU stamping polish are very different in their constancy. Nail polish is more liquid like. This is due to the solvents in the polish, some are very thin, and others maybe thick. The formula depends on how much of each chemical is in each polish. MDU is thick. It’s stringy, very much like an acrylic resin base paint. Some nail polish that is water based may contain acrylic resin. What is acrylic resin? The basic concept is it's a type of synthetic plastic made from one or more derivatives of acrylic acid. The most common acrylic plastic is poylmerthyl methacrylate (PMMA), Which is also the acrylic polymer used in sculpting of acrylic nails, like all plastics, acrylic is a polymer, or a series of repeating units, polymers have different properties then the individual monomers from which they are made. So this brings me to the acrylic. Now we all know about acrylic nails, many of us wear them, and love them. But is this the same acrylic used in MDU? I would have to say yes.
The chemical that maybe used in MDU is part of the acrylic family. The acrylic we use in paint and on our nails is called n-butyl acrylate-co-methyl methacrylate or BA-co-MMA. It is an organic compound used in making plastics and resins. There are several types of acrylic. Acrylic can come in powder form or in a liquid form. Alone acrylic will not make a good paint or polish. Acrylic needs something to bind with it, such as with acrylic nails, we use liquid monomer.
In paint we use alkyd resin to make a film mixed with acrylic liquid, this is what causes the paint to form a film. Alkyd resin is an oil based resin. Alkyd resins modified with rosin are solid, brittle products that melt at temperatures from 80° to 150°C. They are used only as additives to various film forming substances in order to increase the hardness of the coating. Alkyd coatings are typically sold in three classes: long, medium, and short. These terms represent the oil length in the resin. Alkyds are also modified with phenolic-resin, styrene, vinyl toluene, acrylic monomers (to make them dry more quickly), and polyurethanes. By adding certain modifying resins, it is possible to produce thixotropic alkyds for decorative use. The latest alkyds are short oil A/D resins where the oil length is shortened by chain stopping with benzoic acid and now para-tert-butylbenzoic acid (Alkydal M 48). These have a better controlled molecular weight distribution and better durability. Alkyds for decorative use have extra oil cooked in to lengthen them and to make them more durable. Short oil resins used in stove enamels are made from non-drying saturated oils or fatty acids. These usually have much higher hydroxyl and acid values, to be able to react with the hydroxyl groups of the amino resins. These mixtures are usually stabilized with amines to prevent gelling on storage.

Looking at MDU we can smell voc's or Volatile Organic Compounds. Many people have said MDU smells like gasoline. What chemical would make it smell like gasoline? Ethylbenzene. Ethylbenzene is also present in commercially mixed xylenes at levels up to 25%, and, as such, is present in many paints and lacquers, printing inks, insecticides and solvents in the rubber and chemical manufacturing industries. This is the chemical that smells like gasoline. It is a colorless liquid that smells similar to gasoline with a sweet aroma, it evaporates quickly and is highly flammable.
So what else might be in this stamping polish? Some people who smelled MDU said there is turpentine in it. But why would that be in it? It’s not. What is in it is mineral spirits.
Why would that be in it? Artists use mineral spirits as an alternative to turpentine since it is less flammable and less toxic. Because of interactions with pigments, artists require a higher grade of mineral spirits than many industrial users, including the complete absence of residual sulfur. This could be used as a thinner for the paint. However over time the paint becomes thick and stringy like.
It also pulls the pigment and strings of the resin closer together. This may be why it’s in MDU. (if they are using it ) As we know we need a thick paint to stamp with. The last thing that might be in MDU is called universal tints. This is what makes the color of the paint. Each color has its own ingredients, but all are basically the same, containing glycol and water. Most of these pigments cannot be sold to the public at your local hardware store in the USA.
However, you can get them online in small amounts.
Universal tints are a highly concentrated mixture of pigment with several other ingredients. (each company has their own formula) Glycol helps stop freezing and also causes an oily feeling in the paint or enamel.

This may not be the exact formula for MDU, however it is the closest thing I could come up with that is similar in appearance, constancy and feel of the paint.
Now this is not to put MDU down, but to give you a better idea of what might be in their stamping polish. While many people would like to see an ingredient list on her bottles, I don't think anyone wants to see the company shut down or not shipping to the US or other countries. I don't feel any one wants to copy the formula either. This seems to be a concern for some people. However, the people I have talked to only want the ingredient list to know what is in it for health reasons to insure they are buying a product that is not harmful to them or to others around them. I do feel this is a valid reason to have an ingredient list. A list of ingredients will not give away the formula. Personally, I like the product, but I would really like to see an ingredient list on the bottles or on her website. I think it might even be a good PR move as I feel more people would feel comfortable with purchasing the product if they knew what was in it.
Please be aware that this is my own option on this subject matter and in no way, shape or form was I influenced by anyone.

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