(Quoted from Kieth Stevens and Impressions Magazine. Full article here.)
Not all inks are created equal. Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz regarding “eco-friendly” inks. Without going into too much detail on the make-up of these screen printing inks, I’d like to give a brief guideline of what to look for when switching to or using “eco-friendly” inks.
When considering purchasing an ink, it’s always a good idea to take a look at the product’s SDS (Safety Data Sheet). The SDS will give you a lot of information regarding the product’s ingredients and whether the chemicals are deemed toxic or not, or the level of toxicity. In addition, it will give first aid tips and how to safely use and dispose of the product. Just because an ink contains “water” for example, does not mean that there are no other chemicals in it. Unless a printer concocts their own ink and knows what goes into it, an ink will include binders, pigments, and fillers of some type.
I’ve seen many printers switch from a standard plastisol to an alternate ink without adjusting their print processes. This could spell out “disaster,” so let me list some of the items to look out for:
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