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Strong odors from printers

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by ElJay, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. ElJay

    ElJay Member

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    Our shop has 3 printers (Mutoh VJ-1604, ColorSpan UVR72, Roland SC-540) which are often running simutaneously. The area is fairly well ventilated with windows that open and 2 doors which see a lot of traffic (One leads out to our wearhouse, the other to outside.) but no exaust fans other than the building's own HVAC system. When people who aren't regularly in the shop come in they often say something like "Man, how can you stand it in here?" The smell of ink is that strong. I don't smell anything. I'm sure this isn't good but I've done a bit of research and all the info I can gather says that solvent and UV curable inks are "safe". I've worked here almost 10 years. Should I be worried?
     
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  2. Molenbeek

    Molenbeek Member

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  3. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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  4. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

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    And yes you should be worried, 10 years is a long time to be breathing that many VOCs. We vent but I noticed my health take a dip after 3 months around solvent printers, they're nasty beasts.
     
  5. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    i stopped noticing when i forget to turn my exhaust fan on after a couple of years of printing solvent inks... most definately not a good sign for my health.

    carbon duster or exhaust fans are easy to install. its worth it.
     
  6. Robert M

    Robert M Very Active Member

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    Eco Max inks

    The Eco in Roland inks is for Economical, not Ecological, as some would have you believe. I have heard from more then one ink company that Roland has masking agents in their inks to reduce the smell.
    I think the manufacturers are doing a disservice by telling people there is no need to vent their equipment.
    I recently saw a shop that had their one year old child in a bouncy swing next to a Mimaki printer!
     
  7. john1

    john1 Guest

    What happened in the 3 months? I really don't see how in just 3 months you can see a dip....

    If you don't have money for a duster (if your doing that much printing i assume you do though) i would at least have fans faced outward drawing the air out of the rooms. Some venting is better than none
     
  8. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    Ventilation is cheap. :wink: I'd do it quick before OSHA locks your door or a lawsuit from an employee.
     
  9. Rooster

    Rooster Very Active Member

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    Go down to your local hydroponic store and ask the hippy behind the counter to show you their selection of carbon filters and inline duct fans.
     
  10. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    hmm. my Mutoh is fairly sturdy. Perhaps it's destined to BECOME a bouncy swing. Of course without the inks.
     
  11. bayshorecreations

    bayshorecreations Very Active Member

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    So here is a question, can an employee sue you if they acquire health problems while working in an unventilated environment that has voc's in the air?
     
  12. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    my goodness, i just wiki'd active carbon...

    "just 1 gram of activated carbon has a surface area in excess of 500 m2 (about one tenth the size of a football field)"
     
  13. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Here, whenever a strong odor from the printer is detected my wife tells me to go take a shower.
     
  14. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

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    Yep, just hire a good OSHA lawyer (below)

    http://shell-bleiweiss.com/
     
  15. Edserv

    Edserv Member

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    Please be careful. You get used to odors so fast, you wouldn't believe it. If you're getting complaints or comments from unbiased people, take heed. I'm sure you would like a safe environment for you and your staff, and so please consider getting testing done or researching better ventilation systems.

    Even though technology is getting better and better, who wants to take a chance to get some horrible disease 15 or 20 years down the road?
     
  16. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    I do laser etching and cutting as well - some stuff, gets quite smelly. I have a pretty full on filter attached to that thing, but it still smells. I have fans blowing air out towards the door - helps a lot - but still, I'm paranoid - like you say Edserv, it's not a chance you wanna take.

    My main concern is the laser and the smell it generates. I just started looking into using a 3M respirator while doing my cutting and etching. I have a simple respirator which actually cuts most of the odour - but is not specifically made for VOC's or formaldehide. After looking into it, I see 3M has some specifically made for this. Will give it a try - I think it should make a difference.

    If you're interested, this is a disposable version on the 3M site. http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/...12H2_nid=GSZSYX4P4NgsF3RH7CD92Ngl2ZJ4KZQ6LCbl
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  17. AUTO-FX

    AUTO-FX Very Active Member

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    One thing to remember with those respirator masks - once they are out of the package, they are working, meaning, the clock is ticking on the lifespan of the charcoal filtration. for the disposable ones, it doesnt matter so much. You take it out, use it, throw it away. The better one with the changeable filters should be kept in an airtight container between uses. Large tupperware works well.
     
  18. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    I agree with Auto-Fx, but I think a fresh air system is a better way to go. For one you don't have to worry about filter expiration.
     
  19. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    Thanks for the tips - appreciate it.

    Thing is, the laser isn't on 100% of the time. I just feel I need something extra for the smell when it's working - as much as they tell me my filter is doing its job, my gut says otherwise. If I ever get the chance to relocate - top ventilation is going to be a priority. It's the only thing that really gets to me where I'm at right now.

    In the meantime, I'm going to play it "you can never be too careful".

    Is there a recommended amount of time that the charcoal is OK? Does it matter how often you actually use the mask or it's a time factor thing?
     
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