I'm passing along some info on the questions you asked. I hope some
Printech participants from industry can provide some additional
details. Your questions and my responses follow:
> 1. Fountain solutions - Are there alternatives to isopropyl alcohol
> that are not "glycol ethers" which have some toxicity concerns?
> What are these alternatives and how widespread is their use?
I talked to a technical rep. from a major supplier this morning to
update my understanding on alcohol replacements. Here's my current
sense of things. Most sheetfed printers who are looking for
"drop-in" replacements for alcohol are going to 2-step fountain
solutions, in which an alcohol replacement, typically a glycol ether,
is added to the fountain concentrate/water mixture. The glycol
ethers most commonly used are ethylene-based glycols, which are
hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). An alternative is for a printer to
use a replacement with a propylene-based glycol ether, which I
understand are not classified as HAPs. Some fountain solution
suppliers also offer "zero-VOC, zero-HAP" alcohol relacers. These
are proprietary compounds, but the supplier I talked to said his is a
polymer derivative. Any additional info or clarifications from
others on the Printech or P2tech networks would be welcome.
> 2. Adhesives - Are water-based, non-chlorinated adhesives available
> for all applications?
My understanding is that most adhesives currently used by printers
are either water-based latex formulations or hot-melt glue. I have
not heard of concerns re. chlorinated solvents or chemicals in either
of these, but I have not studied MSDSs to be sure of this.
> 3. Ink composition - What colors of lithographic inks contain added
> metals (heavy or non-heavy metals), and are there non-metal
> alternatives to each of these colors? If you have documentation on
> this issue, please fax it to me at 202 234-6049.
Page 22 of the Iowa Waste Reduction Center's Pollution Prevention
Manual for Lithographic Printers has a table that summarizes
potentially regulated constituents in printing inks. As a follow-up
contact, I suggest George Fuchs, of the National Assoc. of Printing
Ink Manufacturers (201/288-9454). I will fax you a copy of the
table. I hope this helps.