Printreg Archive
Re: Air pollution control factors for printing industry HAPs.

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From: Jeff Adrian (
Date: Wed Mar 05 1997 - 10:18:18 CST

 3/5/97 11:14 AM


A quick check of my records (monthly rolling average) substantiates Dave
Salman's (EPA) response: that for lithographic inks HAPs amount to just 5% of
my total monthly HAPs, and these amount to approximately 300 pounds/month,
most of which come from alcohol subs. Also, Dave is right in that there are
now substitues for metering roller washes that are free of methylene chloride
and that do provide the necessary "slip" on the metering roll.

Jeff Adrian

Date: 3/5/97 8:08 AM
To: Jeff Adrian
Scott, I think the answer to your question is no.

The EPA HAP rule for the printing and publishing industry covers organic
HAP emissions from publication rotogravure, product/package
rotogravure and wide-web flexographic printing. When we were
developing this rule we found wide variation in the HAP content of inks,
coatings, adhesives, etc. For example, publication gravure inks are
toluene based with some having nearly 100 of the solvent being toluene
and some having only around 70 percent of the solvent being toluene.
Certain inks and adhesives for product/package gravure are high in HAP
content (e.g., lots of MEK in solvent-borne materials applied to vinyl), while
others contain little if any HAP. Solvent-borne flexo inks contain very

As a general rule (that may not be worth much), organic HAP content is
usually less than or equal to VOC content.

Offset lithography is not covered in the EPA rule. We did look at
lithography before the rule was proposed. We found little if any HAP in
litho inks. IPA is not a HAP. Ethylene glycol ethers are HAP, so there are
some HAPs in many alcohol substitutes. Some blanket and roller washes
contain HAP. I have had a few callers from State agencies tell me about
litho printers who were using and emitting a lot of methylene chloride for
blanket washing. The only use I have confirmed with printers is in
metering roller wash which is a low use material. Methylene chloride has
been used in this operation because it lets the shop towel move smoothly
(glide) on the surface of the roller - it would be unsafe if the shop towel
not move smoothly. I have been told that there are now some metering
roller washes that do not contain methylene chloride.

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