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Printech Archives, May 1998: Re: Heatset Ink Vapors

Re: Heatset Ink Vapors

Gary Jones (
Fri, 22 May 1998 14:47:55 EDT

Dear Don:

You do not specify the exposure scenerio. Who is being exposed and where is
the exposure occuring? Is it inside the facility or outside?

To the best of my knowledge, there have been no studies performed on heastset
ink oil vapor exposure. The principal reason would be that there is virtually
no exposure to the oils in a vapor form, unless the dryer is not functioning
properly or the ink oil is being emitted uncontrolled. Ink oils do not readily
volatilize at room temperature and require elevated temperatures like those
occuring in a heatset dryer to evaporate.

In all of the print worker exposure studies I have reviewed there is generally
no concentration for ink oil vapor identified. This supports the lack of
exposure. However, in some segmenents of the printing industry, namely the
nonheaset web newspaper publishing segment, there can be ink misting. Most of
these operations have filtering systems in place and in all of the studies I
have read there is no indication that exposure to ink mist exceeds the
exposure limit. The appropriate exposure limit is 5 mg/cubic meter mineral oil
mist limit that is in the OSHA PEL table.

I hope the above information helps. Please let me have more details if they
are available. You may also request a search of NIOSH's databases.

Gary Jones



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