Putting ink to paper. Why the type of ink used in printing matters

Putting ink to paper

Why does the type of ink used in printing matter?

There are many types of inks used in printing. Most inks look the same to the vast majority of people. The main difference in today’s inks are detectable only to the trained eye and educated consumer. According to studies, the compounds comprising some of today’s inks can pose serious health risks to children and adults exposed to these chemicals.

In this post, we’ll share two examples of commonly used ink compounds and why MCRL Overseas Group only prints with soy-based ink that is phthalate-free and lead-free.

Phthalate Ink

Phthalates are a collection of chemical compounds typically found in PVC and used in many products, including printing ink. While limited research has been done to determine the health effects of exposure to phthalates, the National Toxicology Program lists Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate as a compound “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” as there are some, albeit limited, links to phthalate exposure and cancer in humans. High levels of exposure to this chemical compound is also believed to have potentially adverse effects on human reproduction or development.

MCRL Overseas Group only prints books with phthalate-free ink.

Lead Ink

Lead is a conventional chemical in ink. It is a heavy ductile metal with a bluish-gray color that is extremely dangerous to consume. Unbeknownst to most, newspapers have a long history of containing dangerous petroleum-based inks like lead. Letterpress printing had a high amount of volatile organic compounds such as cadmium. Lead ink can cause digestive problems and severe levels of toxicity have even been linked to cancer-related health complications. According to the World Health Organization, lead ingestion is very dangerous to children:

  • Affecting development of the brain and nervous system
  • Increasing risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage
  • Reducing intelligence quotient
  • Reducing attention span, educational attainment
  • Increasing antisocial behavior
  • Causing anaemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity

At MCRL Overseas Group we are committed to safety. We print books with soybean ink and our printed books do not have even a trace of lead ink.

Soy-based Ink

MCRL Overseas Group is committed to printing safe and affordable products using soy-based ink printing.

Soy-based ink is superior in terms of safety but there are three additional reasons soy-based ink is our preferred ink compound:

  1. Soy-based ink is environmentally-friendly, biodegradable and renewable (unlike lead). Soy-based ink is much easier to recycle compared to oil-based ink when going through the bleaching process.
  2. Soy-based ink produces more accurate colors.
  3. Soy-based ink is more cost-effective as less ink is required to produce the same number of print jobs.

For more information on MCRL Overseas Group’s commitment to safety and the environment click here.