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I wonder if anyone has checked the long term Health outlook for Discharge inks. My Printing foreman refuses to use them as he believes them to be Carcenogenic. I know that they used to use Formaldahyde as the discharge agent which is definately a problem but the new ones don't use it but they smell almost as bad and anything that smells that bad can't be good for you.

Stuart
 

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I wonder if anyone has checked the long term Health outlook for Discharge inks. My Printing foreman refuses to use them as he believes them to be Carcenogenic. I know that they used to use Formaldahyde as the discharge agent which is definately a problem but the new ones don't use it but they smell almost as bad and anything that smells that bad can't be good for you.

Stuart
I have never heard of anyone having health problems related to discharge printing. However, you are correct about the fumes. If properly ventilated. I wouldn't see any problem with discharge printing. Although if you are still concerned you may want to contact a manufacturer of discharge agent and see what they have to say. Aske them for the Material Safety Data Sheet.
 

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I wonder if anyone has checked the long term Health outlook for Discharge inks. My Printing foreman refuses to use them as he believes them to be Carcenogenic. I know that they used to use Formaldahyde as the discharge agent which is definately a problem but the new ones don't use it but they smell almost as bad and anything that smells that bad can't be good for you.

Stuart
Does your printer smoke cigarettes? If so, just tell them its like them smoking a pack of cigs for every hour they print discharge.

But with proper ventilation its somewhat a safe product to use. Other things in the shop are probably just as bad as discharge inks. You can ask the manufacturer or supplier for a msds.
 

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I don't mean to belittle anyone, but this question comes up so often with no substantiated evidence. Discharge is not a carcinogen, it does not give you cancer, you do not die from it. It is not regulated by the federal government, or by D.O.T. for shipping.

Discharge is not a new process and has been around for quite some time. People have been printing it for years.

The active chemical is a compound called "ZFS" and contains a negligible amount of free flowing formaldehyde. You aren't actually screen printing formaldehyde. To make a comparison, fluorine is an extremely dangerous poison, yet we brush our teeth with a compound called Sodium Fluoride.

In regards to the smell, the exhaust of discharge is an irritant to the eyes and proper ventilation should ALWAYS be taken when printing shirts regardless if your printing discharge or not.

It is good that you are concerned for the safety of your shop, but as mentioned above, there are many more serious threats to your safety in your shop and usually under your kitchen cabinet.

I hope this clears the air for some of the misconceptions regarding discharge. Feel free to fire any questions back.
 

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I don't mean to belittle anyone, but this question comes up so often with no substantiated evidence. Discharge is not a carcinogen, it does not give you cancer, you do not die from it. It is not regulated by the federal government, or by D.O.T. for shipping.

Discharge is not a new process and has been around for quite some time. People have been printing it for years.

The active chemical is a compound called "ZFS" and contains a negligible amount of free flowing formaldehyde. You aren't actually screen printing formaldehyde. To make a comparison, fluorine is an extremely dangerous poison, yet we brush our teeth with a compound called Sodium Fluoride.

In regards to the smell, the exhaust of discharge is an irritant to the eyes and proper ventilation should ALWAYS be taken when printing shirts regardless if your printing discharge or not.

It is good that you are concerned for the safety of your shop, but as mentioned above, there are many more serious threats to your safety in your shop and usually under your kitchen cabinet.

I hope this clears the air for some of the misconceptions regarding discharge. Feel free to fire any questions back.
Thank you for clearing that up.

What are you calling proper ventilation by the way? Do you mean that you have to have your drier vented or do you mean that you have to have good air circulation throughout the shop? Or do you mean both? Also can one circumvent the ventilation by wearing masks? I ask because some shops may not be setup to where they can set up some proper ventilation but they may still want to print with discharge inks.
 

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Thank you for clearing that up.

What are you calling proper ventilation by the way? Do you mean that you have to have your drier vented or do you mean that you have to have good air circulation throughout the shop? Or do you mean both? Also can one circumvent the ventilation by wearing masks? I ask because some shops may not be setup to where they can set up some proper ventilation but they may still want to print with discharge inks.
Having your drier vented is ideal. Garments can exhaust all sorts of stuff you should vent. Most screen printers cannot vent their driers so air circulation throughout the shop is quite adequate.

I would not consider masks to be a solution to lack of ventilation. Dust masks are just that, they block dust. Masks that use filters work great, but they are very cumbersome.

For a shop that has no ventilation, yet wants to print discharge... Well I honestly cannot make a recommendation. Discharge isn't going to kill them, but it might not be the best option. This all depends on size of shop, number of units to print, available fans, etc.

Great question, I hope my answer helps!
 

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... Discharge is not a carcinogen, it does not give you cancer...
The active chemical is a compound called "ZFS" and contains a negligible amount of free flowing formaldehyde..
Just to point out that there are currently two methods of discharge for T-shirt printing. I am not aware of US market but this ZFS sounds same as Zinc Formaldehyde Sulphoxylate to me. This is at least in Europe normally sold by BASF as a product called Decrolin. It can work as reducing agent with dry heat only if it is mixed with hydroscopic agent that is normally urea. Normally also some discharge resistant covering paste is added in commercial products. Formaldehyde has nothing to do with discharging process but is unfortunately produced during fixing process. At least in Europe formaldehyde is regarded as potentional carcinogen. That said, with decent fume extraction there should be no problems. We have made commercially T-shirt printing with Decrolin since 1989.

There is another method for discharge with dry heat and this is using thiourea as reducing agent. This is more novel method. Original patent was made by ICI (UK) and the current patentholder at least in Europe is Magna Colours (UK). It produces practically no formaldehyde.

The smell in both systems is coming from sulphur compounds produced during fixation.
 
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