Printech Archive, April, 1999: Re: Chromate in Screen Emulsion

Re: Chromate in Screen Emulsion

Deb Kramer (
Fri, 02 Apr 1999 10:18:44 -0600

As Gary Jones has mentioned (his personal campaign to get offset printers to
switch to other products) several times there is a 2 part offset plate process
solution that contains chromium. Could this be related? I realize the
processes are completely different, but maybe the industrial chemical products
are not.

Deb Kramer

At 10:07 PM 4/1/99 -0800, you wrote:
>I am quite curious about the chromate problem. Many years ago, screen
>emulsions were sensitized with bichromate. This was eliminated at the
>industrial level more than ten years ago because it was determined that the
>use of bichromate created serious health risks including cancers.
>Modern emulsions come in three types: Photopoloymers, dual-cures, and
>diazo-sensitized. None of these types have any measurable amounts of
>However, I do know that there is no prohibition (which shocked me) against
>selling bichromate sensitized emulsions for craft use. When I was at the
>SGIA a school teacher sent us some bichromate emulsion to see if it was any
>good. We were shocked and investigated the source. It turns out it is
>legal for craft purposes.
>It is my opinion, that the only way this company could get bichromate
>emulsions in industrial quantities is from an offshore source. And, the
>cure to the bichromate problem is to cease using this type of emulsion and
>buy from a reputable U.S. source that has approved emulsions available.
>I know many printers (including my own shop) that have had their screen dept
>effluents checked, and chromates and chromium were never an issue. They
>weren't even found in minute amounts.
>Hope this helps.
>Mike Ukena
Debra Kramer
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