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Flexographic Printing: How You Can Make Environmental Improvements

  • Flexo Printers
  • Ink Companies
  • Educators and Environmental, Health, & Safety Professionals
    To obtain Flexo Partnership materials

    Please provide the title of the document and EPA publication number.


    Flexo Printers

    • Read the Flexo CTSA Summary Booklet to gain a better understanding of the environmental, health, performance, and cost issues associated with flexo inks.
    • Use the Flexo CTSA as a resource on ink chemicals. See especially the Executive Summary and Chapter 3: Risk.
    • Talk to your suppliers about cleaner formulations.
    • Use the Partnership's Pollution Prevention Tips and Inside Flexo Video to make improvements at your company.
    • Ensure that all workers who handle inks wear appropriate personal protective gear (e.g., butyl or nitrile gloves and respirators as needed) to minimize exposure to chemicals. More information on which gloves to choose for working with specific chemicals can be found at the National Toxicology Program website.
    • Maximize good ventilation, particularly in ink preprooms and pressrooms.
    • Minimize use of volatile or toxic press-side additions.
    • Develop an environmental management system. The Design for the Environment Program has a step-by-step Integrated Environmental Management System Guide and Template that the ScreenPrinting & Graphic Imaging Association is using with its members. Let your association know if you'd like to participate in a sector-based effort.
    • Support further research on untested and inadequately tested ink chemicals, especially those predicted to pose risk concerns and those that are produced in high quantities. Additional information on some flexo ink chemicals will become available through EPA's High Production Volume Program.

    Ink Companies

    • Use the Flexo CTSA as a resource on ink chemicals.
    • Make cleaner inks a research and development priority. Use the Partnership's Flowchart for Developing Cleaner Ink Formulations.
    • Use DfE's Flexo Partnership materials with your customers. Refer to the Summary Booklet when discussing cleaner inks or play the Inside Flexo Video. You may order additional copies through EPA's Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse.
    • Train your sales force on environmental and worker health issues.
    • Make environmental and health information about ink chemicals more accessible and understandable (e.g., expand MSDSs, provide best practice tips, include chemical information in sales materials).
    • Support further research on untested and inadequately tested ink chemicals, especially those predicted to pose risk concerns and those that are produced in high quantities. Additional information on some flexo ink chemicals will become available through EPA's High Production Volume Program.

    Educators and Environmental, Health, & Safety Professionals

    • Review DfE Flexo Partnership publications to gain a deeper understanding of ink chemistries and ways to reduce their possible environmental and health impacts.
    • Use Partnership materials with your clients or students. For example, use the Summary Booklet to help them identify and select cleaner ink formulations. Create a checklist from the Pollution Prevention Tips or run the Inside Flexo Video to help them implement best environmental practices. You may order additional copies through EPA's Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse.
    • Place Partnership materials in your library.

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