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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody,

Thanks so much for the help! In a few days, I will start working in a screen printing shop. This shop mainly makes signs (a lot of event posters especially).

I'll be stationed at one end of a big room and the folks making the signs will be at the other end. Our building doesn't have any ventilation and the windows don't open.

The folks at the shop said they only use water based paints in the printing process and that this doesn't require any ventilation.

I just want to be totally sure - is it safe for me to be working 40 hours a week in this environment? Even being at the other end of the room, I'd imagine I'll be breathing in a lot of fumes...

Thanks! :)

Jim
 

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Jim the only way to know the info is to know what product they are using. In textile inks water base stuff can be some bad stuff. Just go there look at the inks note the brand and style go home look them up on Internet msds sheets are almost always avalible. They should also have a book with all the sheets somewhere where all employees have access.
 

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jd5233:

You'll need to check the "Material Safety Data Sheets" for the products that they use. They go by the acronym MSDS sheets. This is the only way to tell.

Proper ventilation for VOC's (Volatile Organic Compound) is very important. It's the law that they need to provide you access to these MSDS sheets, and they can get them for free from their vendors. You can also look anything up online as well. They should have a "Right to Know" center with all sorts of briefings and safety information posted.

Good luck,

-M
 

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I'd be very wary of this situation. I've never seen a shop that would be safe at all times with no ventilation.

The suggestions above are right on--you should have a reasonable expectation of safety where you're at, and access to information pertaining to a safe workplace.

Be careful, and best of luck to you.
 

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People hear "water based" and automatically assume it's non-toxic and eco friendly. Ammonia is water based - go stick your nose in a bottle of industrial strength ammoniated cleaner and see how safe it is! :D Solvent-based products with more water than, say, methanol content can be called water-based. You can actually get low-VOC waterbased polyurethane, it confuses the heck out of some woodworkers who automatically assume it's better to use waterbased than oil.
 

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Hey everybody,

Thanks so much for the help! In a few days, I will start working in a screen printing shop. This shop mainly makes signs (a lot of event posters especially).

I'll be stationed at one end of a big room and the folks making the signs will be at the other end. Our building doesn't have any ventilation and the windows don't open.

The folks at the shop said they only use water based paints in the printing process and that this doesn't require any ventilation.

I just want to be totally sure - is it safe for me to be working 40 hours a week in this environment? Even being at the other end of the room, I'd imagine I'll be breathing in a lot of fumes...

Thanks! :)

Jim
Sure ! PM me please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much for the info, everybody! I really really appreciate the help.

Once I get ahold of the MSDS sheets, is there anything I should look out for? Will there be anything on the MSDS sheet that tells me that a particular chemical is hazardous?
 

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[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPoFtEBbjWI[/media]
[media]http://access.ewu.edu/Documents/HRRR/ehs/Flinn-HowtoReadMSDS.pdf[/media]
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Sben763! I've heard some folks say that if somebody is screen printing and you can't actually smell any fumes, you're not inhaling anything toxic. Is this true?

Since I'll be at the other end of the room, if I'm not smelling anything, does that mean I'm in the clear (even if they're using toxic stuff.)?

Thanks again, friends. This has been really really helpful!
 

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Thanks Sben763! I've heard some folks say that if somebody is screen printing and you can't actually smell any fumes, you're not inhaling anything toxic. Is this true?

Since I'll be at the other end of the room, if I'm not smelling anything, does that mean I'm in the clear (even if they're using toxic stuff.)?

Thanks again, friends. This has been really really helpful!
NOT TRUE Carbon monoxide has no smell but breath it too long and your dead
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again for all of the helpful advice and insight. It looks like these guys are only using Speedball inks and Diazo Photo Emulsion products.

The MSDS sheets say that (with the exception of the Emulsion stuff) products aren't harmful if inhaled. This is comforting.

It doesn't seem like there are short term health issues here, by my concern is now that since there isn't any ventilation at all, over time I imagine there would be a build-up of fumes. In small doses these products don't seem harmful, but over weeks and weeks of printing, it seems like the air in the building would develop a pretty heavy concentration of fumes. Is this a valid concern? Without vents, will fumes disappear eventually?
 

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Thanks again for all of the helpful advice and insight. It looks like these guys are only using Speedball inks and Diazo Photo Emulsion products.

The MSDS sheets say that (with the exception of the Emulsion stuff) products aren't harmful if inhaled. This is comforting.

It doesn't seem like there are short term health issues here, by my concern is now that since there isn't any ventilation at all, over time I imagine there would be a build-up of fumes. In small doses these products don't seem harmful, but over weeks and weeks of printing, it seems like the air in the building would develop a pretty heavy concentration of fumes. Is this a valid concern? Without vents, will fumes disappear eventually?
Sounds to me like you should find somewhere else to work.
 
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