FAQ

Question: HOW MANY HOLDS DO I NEED FOR OUR WALL?

Typical wall – 1 hold every 2 square feet
High density wall – 1 hold every square foot (dense bordering wall with criss crossing problems)
Spray wall – 2-3 holds every square foot


QUESTION: ARE CLIMBING HOLDS TOXIC?

Our climbing holds are non-toxic and inert. Our climbing holds are produced from a thermoset polymer known as polyurethane. Polyurethane is produced by the reaction of two component raw materials. These components are the polyurethane intermediates known as isocyanate (Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate) and a polyol. These components in their unreacted forms can be hazardous to human health. However, the reaction between the two components converts all of the isocyanate and polyol from their original forms into the urethane polymer, no isocyanate or polyol remain after this reaction. Research from the Krone and Klinger1 published in the journal of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology showed that completely cured polyurethane products are fully reacted and therefore non-toxic and inert. Climbing holds produced at Escape Climbing are completely cured so unreacted isocyanate or polyol no longer remain.

The only known health risk associated with climbing holds occurs when heated significantly or involved in a fire. Polyurethane climbing holds contain organic nitrogen, as with many natural and man-made materials that contain organic nitrogen there will be dangerous combustion products including carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide gas produced in the event of exposure to temperatures greater than 350O F. 2

What about VOC’s and plasticisers?

Unlike many other plastics and coatings, Escape Climbing holds are produced with no solvents and no non-reactive plasticisers. Therefore there is very little concern about free chemical species available for human exposure with a cured polyurethane product.

Other consumer plastic products (not climbing holds) can contain non-reactive plasticisers and VOC containing solvents. Non-reactive phthalate plasticisers are used to reduce the hardness of many polymers such as PVC and polyurethane. These plasticisers are released when heating or during food contact with a plastic product. The second concern for other consumer plastics and coatings are VOC containing solvents. These compounds are primarily used in paints and coatings that are produced by dispersion in a solvent. These compounds evaporate upon the drying the coating and can release VOC’s into the environment. Since Escape Climbing products are completely cured, do not use non-reactive plasticisers, and do not use VOC containing solvents, our climbing holds pose no known health risks when used properly.

  1. Krone, C. A. and Klingner, T. D. (2005), Isocyanates, polyurethane and childhood asthma. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 16: 368-379. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3038.2005.00295.x
  2. “Health and Safety.” CASTABLE POLYURETHANE ELASTOMERS, by I. R. CLEMITSON, CRC PRESS, 2017, pp. 60–60.