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You are here: EPA Home » DfE » Solutions for Lithographic Printers: An Evaluation of Substitute Blanket Washes

Solutions for Lithographic Printers: An Evaluation of Substitute Blanket Washes

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EPA/744-F-96-009
September 1997


Download Solutions for Lithographic Printers in its entirety. [550 K pdf file]

Evaluating Blanket Washes:
A Guide for Printers

Purpose of this Booklet

This booklet is designed to help printers evaluate their current blanket wash and compare it to substitute blanket washes. How safe are they to use? How do they perform? How much do they cost to use? What are their environmental risks?

The Design for the Environment (DfE) Lithographic Printing Partnership tested a variety of different blanket washes to answer these questions. The Project evaluated 37 blanket washes in laboratory testing. Of these washes, 22 were sent out for field demonstrations at printing facilities. The full technical report of these product trials is called the Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment:

Lithographic Blanket Washes (CTSA). Recognizing that not all printers have the time to read the larger CTSA, the Project has produced this smaller reference booklet to answer printers' questions in a simple and clear format.

The washes presented in the CTSA and in this booklet have been grouped into five chemical categories based on their basic chemical formulations. While the specific formulations of some of the products may have changed since the tests were conducted, new formulations typically fall into these five basic categories.

Using this Booklet

Using a Question & Answer format, this booklet describes the results of the blanket wash evaluations. If substitute blanket washes are new to you, you may want to start with Question 1 and read through to the end. You can also use this booklet as a reference for your specific area of interest.

While this booklet examines substitute blanket washes specifically, the steps taken to evaluate substitutes can easily be applied to other chemicals in your print shop. By doing so, you will likely find other areas of the operation where substitutes can improve working conditions, reduce environmental impact, and possibly save money at the same time.

table of contents

Question 1: Why should I switch to a substitute blanket wash?

Question 2: How can I identify different types of substitute blanket washes?

Question 3: How do blanket washes affect worker health and the environment?

Question 4: What kind of performance can I expect from a substitute blanket wash?

Question 5: How will substitute blanket washes affect my costs?

Question 6: What were the overall results of the substitute wash evaluations?

Question 7: What steps do I need to take to switch to a substitute wash?

Question 8: What questions should I ask my blanket wash supplier?

Question 9: What else can I do to prevent pollution in my facility?

Question 10: Where can I find more information about pollution prevention in printing?

Download Solutions for Lithographic Printers in its entirety. [550 K pdf file]

[PDF] PLEASE NOTE: Some of the documents mentioned in this Section are in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). To view or print them you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader program installed on your computer. The Reader can be downloaded and used with no charge; check here for more information on the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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