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PRINTING YOUR WAY TO A GREEN EARTH

Written By: Blur Lorena

When we say new technology the first word that pops in our minds is computer. Computer dominates our planet. The next word to associate computer is printer. In almost all industries, a computer without printer is useless because printer does the ultimate output of your work.

Before reading Jennifer Proias article I never knew that the ink used in printing contributes to the pollutions that endanger human existence. According to her, commercial printing process creates enormous amounts of carcinogens, hazardous wastes and pollution. Before we proceed to the solutions let us first familiarize ourselves with these few important words.

Carcinogen is a solvent that compose the mixture of chemicals used in press-cleaning solution. Chemical carcinogens include methylene chloride, benzene and perchloroethylene. Evidences show that certain industries such as printing are associated with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is believed to be caused by carcinogens.

When presses and equipments are cleaned it generates solvent and solvents containing liquids. These solvents may be toxic or flammable and almost all are classified as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Once in the atmosphere, VOCs combine with other pollutants. These pollutants form ozone, called smog. Smog is an air pollutant that aggravates lung diseases. Solvents may also cause water pollution if not discharged properly.

So how can we reduce, if not eliminate, the use of these harmful solvents?

One way is by choosing printing inks. There are two types of ink, the petroleum-based ink and the soy-based ink, also known as soy ink. Soy inks are made from soybeans. It contains soybean oil used in cooking oil, so it is non-toxic. When used in printing, soy ink creates rich, vivid colors. It is safe because it decompose without harm to the environment. Soy inks are accessible. They promote paper recycling and create less waste on press.

So why use harmful ink if you can use earth-friendly ink without compromising output and production?

Another way to prevent pollution is the local exhaust ventilation or LEV. LEV removes offending materials before it can mix with air. With the proper application of LEV, cleaning solvents can be quickly captured. Pollution can be also minimized by using water based cleaners and solutions with carcinogens at concentration below 0.1%.

It is very important to know the product you are using. Read policies and rules regarding chemical use. Be aware of the bad effects it may cause. Dispose of waste materials properly.

About the Author

This article was created for the sole purpose of propagating information that may be related to brochures printing and other industries to which it may be of interest.

For comments and questions about the article you may contact the Author at their website http://www.brochuresprintingonline.com

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