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Screen Printing Partnership

About This Project | Findings & Accomplishments | Publications | Partners

What Is Screen Printing?

Screen printing involves stretching a porous mesh material over a frame to form a screen. Then a rubber-type blade is swept across the screen surface, pressing the ink through a stencil and onto the print material. Examples of screen-printed products include signs, electronics and dashboards, textiles, decals, graphic arts materials, and containers.

Screen Printing Project - Logo

EPA worked with the Screenprinting and Graphic Imaging Association, International (SGIA)Exit Disclaimer to focus their efforts on two specific projects:

1) Developing an industry-wide Integrated Environmental Management System (IEMS). EPA and SGIA worked to develop a customized program to help small businesses implement EMSs, with a focus on identifying and reducing chemical risks. SGIA served as the lead organization, adapting DfE's generic IEMS materials to reflect the screen printing industry's specific needs. Results from an initial pilot project show that in less than a year, screen printers were able to see environmental improvements as a result of their IEMS. And most of the pilot companies were small and did not have dedicated environmental staff.

To learn more about SGIA's IEMS program or to obtain copies of their IEMS guidance, contact Marcia Kinter at marcik@sgia.org.

2) Developing a Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment (CTSA). EPA and SGIA completed a comparison of the environmental and human health risks, performance issues, and costs of 16 substitute screen reclamation systems and technologies. Together, the partnership collected hazard and environmental release information (i.e., releases to air, water, land) on 72 different chemicals that are found in these screen reclamation systems. Results are compiled in a full technical report, Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment: Screen Reclamation and are summarized in a booklet, Designing Solutions for Screen Printers.

Followup interviews with the Screen Printing Partnership participants found that half of the screen printers interviewed switched to a cleaner reclamation product, and several suppliers changed their research and development strategy based on project information.

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