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ISO: Ink Toxicity

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My family operated an off set printing machine in our home from approximately 1958 to 1965. My mother printed civil defense cards and later CB cards. She used various colors of ink. I am trying to find out what toxins were in the ink as well as the solvents used to clean the printing press.

Comments

Comments

  1. Paul Moxon, Website Editor 20 April, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Here are two articles that may be of interest:

         https://pubs.acs.org/cen/whatstuff/stuff/7646scit2.html
         https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/ink-chemistry/3002158.article

    Btw, do you have any examples of your mother’s civil defense or CB cards?

  2. Just because an ingredient is toxic doesn’t mean that the end product is dangerous. Dry lamp black pigment would be hazardous if inhaled, but once milled into oil vehicle to become printer’s ink and it can no longer be inhaled, not a worry. In that period some more dangerous pigments were used that are now obsolete such as chrome yellow and chrome orange, but even if your mother used them in her work, I would not be concerned about any minute residues today. The solvents used in cleanup are volatile and would have vanished long ago.
    The only hypothetical situation that would concern me is if ink and solvent waste were buried in the ground. Clumps of color in the dirt would be an indicator of something that could leach into the water table; but consider, how much waste could be generated in a mere seven years printing ephemera? Really, not much.

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