Xylene is a colourless liquid that has a strong, sweet smell – if you have encountered a strong, sweet smell from whiteboard marker pens, you may know what we mean.
You will not find Xylene in Auspen inks or get that strong, sweet smell – Auspen marker pens are Xylene free.
For good reason. Apart from being used to help make dyes and inks, it is used to help make glues, chemical cleansers and degreasers, paint strippers and pesticide. It is classified as Harmful by the European Union. Some of the components of commercial Xylene include Toluene, Trimethylbenzenes, Benzene and other hydrocarbons.
Xylene can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, and Xylene poisoning is a serious problem. In the short term, Xylene poisoning can affect the central nervous system, increase liver enzymes, and irritate eyes/nose/throat. Other effects of Xylene exposure can include: headaches, light headedness, loss of co-ordination and loss of consciousness. Long term effects are worse.
When we were designing Auspen markers, we decided to stay well away from Xylene. It is true Xylene can make it easier to get ink to stick on white boards. But we figured it was better for everyone if we found a better solution without using Xylene. So we did.
If you are interested in more information about Xylene, here are some sources of information:
- Wikipedia entry on Xylene
- US Department of Health & Human Services Public Health Statement for Xylene (2005)