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printech, April, 2003
Formaldehyde in Printing


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From: Charles Beaudry (charles.beaudry@UMontreal.CA)
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 14:13:44


We are working on a research project trying to identify worker exposure to formaldehyde in various industries. We picked up in the American legal literature that the printing industry is a potential source of exposure to formaldehyde. In the American EPA's Profile of the Printing Industry (1995), one industry, in the Toxic Releases Inventory (TRI), is reported emitting 660 pounds/year of formaldehyde.

The most recent technical literature that we searched on this industry has not enabled us to locate any source of exposure. We are trying to identify a technical resource that would help us clarify this. Our hypothesis is that, if it is used, it would probably be as a preservation agent in the fountain solution in off-set printing or as a component in development chemicals used in "photoengraving". It could also very well be that its use has been discontinued in the last 15 years as the legal information we have dates from the late eighties and the TRI report is for 1993.

Can anybody help?



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