Printreg Archive
Re: Methylene Chloride & printers

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Date: Tue Jul 08 1997 - 16:35:10 CDT


In response to the new Methylene Chloride Standard, I prepared an article for
my Environmental Alert column which appeared in the May/June 1997 issue of
GATFWORLD. This same column has been forwarded to the Hot News Section of the
PNEAC home page. If you want a copy, please let me know.

Becasue of the monitoring and employee training requirements involved with
the standard and the potential helath effects associated with methylene
chloride, I am advising members to work with their suppliers to eliminate the
presence of it in their products. In lithographic printing, the most common
use for methylene chloride is as a component in cleaning solutions and some
press maintenace products. While methylene chloride only represents a small
portion of the total product, it is an excellent solvent. To date, two
replacements I have seen use either acetone or other flammable organic
solvents, which poses a fire safety hazard.

As with all choices in these areas, the trade-off (based on the two
substitutes I have seen) for methylene chloride free cleaners means using
those with low flashpoints. The printer will have to ensure they are taking
the proper precautions with respect to storage and dispensing of these
materials, but these issues should be more acceptable than the ones
associated with methylene chloride. However, at least one of our members
could not find an adequate substitute and decided to perform the monitoring
and conduct the empolyee training. The monitoring showed exposure levels far
below the new standard.


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