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

Putting ink to paper

Soy many reasons to choose soy-based ink

Ink. It’s likely not something you think alot about when designing a book and selecting a printer. Ink looks pretty much the same to an untrained eye BUT studies show there are health and safety considerations, especially when printing children’s books.

There are many different types of ink used in book publishing. MCRL Overseas Group always recommends phthalate-free and lead-free soy-based ink. Here’s why…

Phthalate Ink

Phthalates are a collection of chemical compounds typically found in PVC and commonly recognized as a plasticizer. Phthalates are used in many products, including printing ink. While there is limited research on the health effects of exposure to phthalates, the National Toxicology Program lists Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” High levels of exposure may even have adverse effects on human reproduction and development.

Lead Ink

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

  • Affect development of the brain and nervous system
  • Increase risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage
  • Reduce intelligence
  • Reduce attention span
  • Increase antisocial behavior
  • Cause anaemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immune-toxicity

MCRL Overseas Group will never print books with any trace of lead. Producing safe products for our clients with the least impact on the environment is our number one mandate. This is why we print childrens books, hard and soft covered books, tabletop and cookbooks using soybean ink.

Soy-based Ink

Soy-based ink is not only more environmentally-friendly than other petroleum ink bases, it also produces more accurate colors. Soy is much easier to recycle when compared to oil-based ink. When going through the bleaching process soy ink is biodegradable and renewable (unlike lead). Soy ink is also more cost-effective, requiring less ink than traditional printing inks for the same print outs.

Environmentally Conscious Choices

MCRL Overseas Group believes in producing products with the least environmental impact possible.

eco friendly
Our processes and facilities have been audited, inspected and found to be environmentally compliant.
ESKA logo
We are a big supporter of Eska®board, made from 100% recycled raw materials. Eska has one of the smallest carbon footprints when it comes to primary energy consumption and gasifies the waste materials released in processing its recycled paper to become steam used in its paper production processes
We recommend clients consider Tree-free Bamboo Paper Stock for their print and packaging. Here’s why…
Trees.org for the future logo
MCRL Overseas Group sponsors Trees.org.
This amazing organization enables impoverished communities to transform their lands into Forest Gardens that provide jobs, protect eco-systems, shelter wildlife and sequester carbon in

Learn how you can help communities and the planet with your next order. Contact us for a quote!.