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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been thinking about starting a sublimation business but I am very worried about breathing in any fumes that are produced from the process.

I've heard that when you make mouse pads it stinks really badly, and I have to imagine that at 400 degrees, you are vaporizing dyes. That can't be healthy for you.

Not to go all biological on you but the way that your noes works is that you smell because little tiny particles are going inside of your nose, and that's how you smell it.

It doesn't bother me when those tiny particles are a good steak or some chocolate but when it's melting dye or rubber I'll start to get concerned.

Am I making a big thing out of nothing? What's the deal with the fumes?
 

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well....I don't really notice the 'fumes' and I have been doing sublimation for over 10 years without any apparent issues...and I am as old as the hills...maybe older than some
 

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You have to die of something. You are basically heating up a petrolium product (poly) and changing a solid to a gas and back to a solid (dye sub). Get the MSDS from your vendor to find out the risks.
 

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I've been doing dye sublimation for the past few months.
There is a slight odor when doing "the process".

I just got done doing about 150 license plates for a customer, but I haven't noticed any issues.

I've been doing dye sublimation for the past few months.
There is a slight odor when doing "the process".

I just got done doing about 150 license plates for a customer, but I haven't noticed any issues.

I've been doing dye sublimation for the past few months.
There is a slight odor when doing "the process".

I just got done doing about 150 license plates for a customer, but I haven't noticed any issues.

uhhhhhh... my head is spinning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So then is the general consunsus that most people who use dye sublimation are not worried about any odors produced during the process?

Is anyone using a respirator or mask when doing this?
 

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There is an item called an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for nearly every chemical known. It'll give you safety & health info , including possible health effects of use. The manufacturer must, by law have this available for the general public to protect themselves against toxic elements of the product. For a specific chemical, google chemical name, i.e. "gasoline MSDS". or just MSDS & you should be able to get it. If not, you'll have to contact the manufacturer to get it. There is 1 reason you may not find the specific chemical which is known as a "trade secret" which does not have to be listed due to it giving a competitor an advantage in the making of the product, but that's rare. I'm involved in this stuff on a daily basis, so you have no reason to doubt this info. You are definitely right in checking this out if you're at all concerned about health risks. Every day, someone dies or is hospitalized due to not knowing the risks involved, including mixing household cleaners which could cause a chemical poison vapor or an explosion hazard. If you have any concerns, a respirator is a good idea but there are also different respirators for different uses which may not be right for your needs. Also a respirator by it's very nature can make breathing more difficult so it's not a good idea for anyone with a breathing disorder, asthma etc. or a lung or heart issue to use one. In most cases the MSDS will tell you to wear a respirator along with what type to use. Also, do not let children be exposed to any chemical smell for long periods as they will be more susceptible to the dangers. This is info everyone should know, not just for our applications but for everyday life. If you're not informed, you could be placing yourself or others in danger. Please use care when using any type of chemical you're not familiar with. Protect yourself & your loved ones. Merry Xmas to all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am familiar with the MSDS, but in reality, every MSDS is going to tell you that the chemical is bad for you. No MSDS is going to say anything like "Yeah, don't worry about it, take deep breaths you'll be fine". Those things are written by lawyers so they are going to tell you that it's bad no matter what.

If a lawyer wrote an MSDS for water it would sound like it was a bad thing to use.

What I really want to know from the group of people that do sublimation every day and have for years, if they are worried about of if they don't even give it a second thought.
 

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My take is just from common sense. You are vaporizing chemicals - there is nothing good that can come from inhaling the fumes. Sure people may do it for years with no effects but there are people who smoke and live till 100.

Surely what you are sublimating makes a difference. If you sublimating a few mugs there really is not much coming off from this - If you are sublimating full panels on a MaxiPress there is consider fumes that come off from it.

Sublimating in an area that is not well ventilated will be a smoky smelly mess.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the ink as much as the substrate. Some of the FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) has a horrible smell. Use common sense and ventilate the area well. You can always use an exhaust fan over your heat press area.
 

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Sublimation is about 70 years old.
Most of the fumes are related to the substrate.

Folks like Unisub have studied the fumes and
do not believe they are harmful for frp and hardboard.

My take is that your press should be used in a
well ventilated area like a exhaust fan near the press.

Some people will not tolerate the fumes like
peanuts on an airplane.

I think using common sense will go a long ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So then do you think that something like this would work ? Or are you referring to a regular house fan?

[media]http://i01.gecimages.com/site/images/large/246344_01.jpg[/media]
 

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Those "things" are not written by lawyers. If you truly had any knowledge of an MSDS you'd know better. Get educated.
So who does write them? It is my understanding they are written by the manufacturer. I doubt very seriously that any company would release MSDS statements that were not carefully reviewed and tweaked by corporate attorneys.
 

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I do have some knowledge of MSDS sheets and I believe they can be both usefull and harmfull depending on the circumstance which they are used. For instance try reading the one for Asprin, if you do you will never take another asprin in your life. It is simply written in a manner describing the effects of large amounts used in the manufacturing process, not the simple tablets taken for pain relief.

The simple answer here is if it bothers you don't do it sublimation isn't rocket science and the ink isn't rocket fuel, but it can be smelly. Some people are affected by smells to the point of becoming physically ill. My one nephew can be hospitalized just because of smells, if he ever tried to make a mouse pad he'd be a total mess. Me , I grew up on a farm so not much bothers me. But if you read the MSDS I can almost guarantee you will find something else to do.
 

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Our parent company has been working with sublimation for several years. We have sublimation printers in all but one of our plants and we have a production facility and a test lab here in Michigan. To the best of my knowledge, we have never had any problems. You do need to make sure there is adequate ventilation, and the smell may bother some people as others have pointed out, but I've never seen or heard of anyone suffering from toxic effects.
 
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