People working in printing often refer to the fumes they are exposed to as ‘the smell’.
Of course, what we know is that the health consequences of inhaling airborne emissions given off by chemicals used in printing processes go way beyond simple discomfort caused by an unpleasant odour.
Fumes associated with inks, lacquers, adhesives and solvents all have the potential to impact negatively on health, so it’s vital that any vapours and mists generated by operations are captured before they enter the breathing zones of operatives.
Guidance issued by regulatory bodies, such as the Health & Safety Executive for the UK, highlights that exposure to printing-based fumes can make operatives feel dizzy, drowsy and, over time, elevate risk to occupational asthma and even affect the central nervous system.
BOFA is a leading supplier of portable fume extraction systems and is increasingly involved at the printing equipment design stage to integrate filtration technology that will prevent any potentially harmful airborne contaminants entering the work environment.
The benefit for manufacturers of taking this approach is that it solves a significant issue for their customers at source by ‘baking in’ technology that contributes to a safer workplace by enabling compliance with regulated occupational exposure limits.
These limits are set to manage exposure levels to harmful chemicals and are expressed as time weighted averages. By integrating BOFA’s multi-layered extraction technology, including advanced carbon filter technology, nearly all gases are captured during the printing process, with the ‘cleaned’ air returned into the workplace.
Taking this holistic approach to printing equipment design and manufacture not only helps end user customers meet their legal imperatives, it can also contribute to better productivity by removing potential sources of ill-health for employees.
There are also reputational risks to consider. Corporates are increasingly measured by their social and environmental responsibility and, aside from any possible legal issues arising from non-compliance, inadequate workplace protection could not only cause harm to employees but also damage brand equity and impact business relationships.
For these many reasons, BOFA is creating strong partnerships in the printing industry, with technology such as the PrintPRO range specified to work across a variety of ink types, including those that are solvent and UV based, and those used in dye sublimation.
These fume extraction systems are compact and incorporate a large gas filter to capture and remove a wide range of solvents generated within these environments, including MEK, ketones and vapours from UV applications. The units are also easily adapted to different environments, including wide format printing, inkjet coding printers (CIJ) (both solvent and UV) and numerous mailroom applications such as UV coating, hot melt glue binding and mailroom polywrapping. Standard features include long life, low-cost replacement filters, high airflow pressure rates and advanced carbon filter technology.
To find out more about BOFA’s print industry solutions, click here.