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Re: Metals in Printing Ink

As a person who lives in Northeast Wisconsin, where a major percentage of 
the U.S. wastepaper recycling occurs, I'm very concerned about this issue.  
Seven companies are facing close to $1 billion in cleanup and compensation 
costs on the Fox River and Green Bay due to the past use of PCBs on 
carbonless copy paper, and I worry about history repeating itself.  (For more 
information, please visit our website:  http://www.foxriverwatch.com )

While consumer safety of using the paper inks, pigments, dyes and coatings 
is an important issue, our community faces the more longterm consequences 
when the papers are repulped to make new paper.   We are stuck with the 
waste sludges, air emissions, and wastewater discharges contaminated with 
paper chemical additives, plus the chemicals used to de-ink the paper.

The fact is that the federal and state regulators know very little about the 
individual and combined health effects of many of the chemicals used on 
paper and in the paper recycling process.  They have no funds to investigate 
new chemicals and they wait until an obvious problem develops before 
launching an investigation, and eventual cleanup.  Some may dismiss trace 
quantities of toxic substances as of minor concern, but the cumulative, long-
term buildup over time should still be a concern, as the chemicals are 
deposited year after year in the sediments of our river and bay, or are 
landspread as sludges on our croplands.

Many of the heavy metals have been replaced, but with what?  Have long-
term ecosystem studies been done proving the safety of the substitutes?  

I'm not reassured by industry claims that the problems are all in the past.  
Especially when dangerous chemicals are still being used for "specialty" 
purposes.  What is so special or essential that toxic chemicals must be used 
and dumped on our community?   In addition,  it's not enough to just keep the 
chemicals below the legal definition of "toxic" or "hazardous" when 
bioaccumulation in the foodchain can rapidly increase low concentrations to 
toxic levels in wildlife and humans.

This entire issue needs much more attention.  

Rebecca Katers

On 8 Aug 2002 at 9:46, Ralph Cooper wrote:

> The metals were phased out in the '80s.By 1986, my local client was
> using inks that were free of RCRA metals. Earlier than that, Borden
> decided its solution to surface impoundments for waste from
> manufacturing same was to replace the metals in the inks and avoid the
> metal contamination problem.
> Ralph E. Cooper, Ph.D.
> Mediator, Attorney &Counselor at Law
> 9901 IH-10 West, Suite 800
> San Antonio, TX 78230
> 210.558-0555
>     ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: Listman 
> To: P2tech@great-lakes.net 
> Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2002 7:52 AM
> Subject: Metals in Printing Ink
> Forwarded on behalf of Rusty Harris-Bishop.Please reply to
> p2tech@great-lakes.net.
> I have a question regarding the color inserts in newspapers (I believe
> it's a flexographic process). Does anyone know if they still use metal
> inks in printing these? Does anyone know when they were phased out if
> they were? I have looked on the print-tech archives, and didnt' see it
> answered, and posted a question, but it didn't seem to get a response.
> Anyone have any suggestions?
> Thanks
> Rusty Harris-Bishop
> rusty.harris-bishop@ncmail.net
> www.p2pays.org

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