As Americans turn towards healthier lifestyles, their thoughts turn to the chemicals in the foods they eat, and the make-up and body products that they use. They are also changing the way they dress, choosing organic cotton, hemp and bamboo as a way of reducing chemicals that can be absorbed from clothing through one’s skin. This concern extends to the chemicals in the clothing’s screen printed design.
Unfortunately, most American screen printers continue to use plastisol inks that contain carcinogenic chemicals, such as polyvinylchloride (PVC) and phthalates. The European Union has recognized that PVC and phthalates are associated with breast cancer and other serious diseases and has banned many of them. There are a few screen printers in the United States that understand these risks and print exclusively with water based inks. Water based inks are free of these hazardous chemicals and have been shown to be safe and durable for years.
Recent studies have shown that phthalates, long associated with breast cancer, can migrate from a plastisol print and leach into the body through the skin. Judy Mazzuca, owner of Ink Forest Eco-Friendly Screen Printing, finds this offensive. “Annually, thousands of women selflessly participate in charity walks. To show unity for the cause, they receive and wear a t-shirt printed with plastisol inks, rather than water based inks. This practice needs to change immediately.”
Screen printing with water based inks eliminate these health risks. Some screen printers offer water based inks as an uncharged option. But, there are only a few dedicated water based ink screen printers in the United States. Ink Forest Eco-Friendly Screen Printing is the only Woman-Owned, Green America – Certified Green screen printer in the United States. As such, Ink Forest takes women and children’s health issues seriously and places them as their first priority. Ink Forest Eco-Friendly Screen Printing has printed customers’ designs on t-shirts and other garments exclusively using water based inks since 2013. Ink Forest is based in the Chicagoland area and serves customers throughout the United States.