Environmental studies brought upon offices that use printers have reached an impressive conclusion: dangerous particle concentrations inside offices areas were found five times higher during working hours when people were using office equipment, as the main source of these tiny health affecting volatile substances were clearly produced by printing machines.
The printing industry contributes to environment pollution with three types of wasters: solid waste, wastewater and air emissions. Solid wastes can refer to empty containers, used film packages, damaged plates or other non-functional spare tools, bad printing or scrap paper. Wastewater usually comes from printing operations that involve lubricating oil, waste ink, photographic chemicals, alkalis and plate coatings, as well as other contained materials of a printing machine, such a silver, iron, chromium or barium. Volatile organic compounds contribute to air emissions from the use of cleaning solvents and inks or other toxic substances used in lithographic printing.
One of the things you should change in your printing routine is the ink you use and pleading for 100% vegetable-based inks might be a huge step forward. By replacing the traditional petroleum based inks with substances that contain a 30% vegetable oil and a minimum 55% bio-derived compound, you are guaranteed to extremely low levels of volatile organic compounds that make the air around you difficult to breath, Moreover, there is also the possibility of choosing water-based inks, as they are the most ecological inks you may find, generating ultra-soft printed material. However, this type of printing substance spreads more and it should be avoided when wanting to achieve fine details and dark-colored garments.
Cleaning products used on printing devices are also great polluting factors, therefore quantity should be taken into consideration and ensure that a minimum use of cleaning solved is employed. Reuse of cleaning products is also highly-recommended as not only that they prevent pollution through effective use of material, but they also reduce costs. Moreover, low volatile organic compounds reduce air emissions, while installing solvent distillation units for solvent recovery can prologue the lifetime of a cleaning product even further.
Certain procedures can be fulfilled in order to reduce the quantity of solvent and improve air quality. One of these solutions involves minimizing the solvent to a rag by using a plunger can or a squeeze bottle. Moreover, press wipes should be used as long as possible, while storing used solvent-contaminated rags should be placed in sealed, fireproof (as they are inflammable) containers to prevent evaporations.
Most companies hesitate to take into consideration the pollution factor involved by printing activities but whither they like it or not, printers have a negative impact upon environment that requires a responsible prevention practice. This aspect isn’t just for ecological principals, as reducing composition waste from printing devices can also point to a reduction in raw material needs and disposal costs that are clearly in the benefit of any printing company. Acting in an end-of-pipe control spirit, firms can actually concentrate on process improvements while preventing pollution and promoting profits at the same time.