Hazards and Risks at Rotary Screen Printing (Part 6/6): Control of Chemical Hazards via Cleaner Production Approaches

Diana Starovoytova


This-current-study examined occupational-chemical-hazards, at a-finishing-department (printing-section), of a-textile-mill, via questionnaire/checklist-surveys; document-analysis; site-visits, and walk-thorough- investigations. The-study revealed that: absolute-majority, of the-respondents, reported, that they do routinely-handle and use hazardous-chemicals; 90.9 % alleged that they had been exposed-to the-organic-dusts; 72.7% reported that some-workers did not use personal-protective-equipment, even if provided; 63.6 % indicated that there were some-workstations, without local-exhaust-ventilation; 45.5 % of the-workers recorded, that hazardous-chemicals can-be-substituted for less-hazardous-ones, while the-rest said:” I do not know”; and 36.3 % stated, that they were using hazardous-chemicals, while not been-trained in their-proper-use and handling. It-was-also-observed, severally, that: the-departmental-floor had spilled-off-chemicals, from the-machines; in-roller-cleansing, workers used to-dip a-cleaning-rag, into an-unlabeled-container of cleansing-solvent, which was left-open, all-the-time;  and that shop/towel rags, used to-clean-up of machine-parts and spills, of chemical-substances, during printing-operations, were-routinely soaked, washed, and then, re-used. Overall, the-study revealed, that workers could-be exposed to numerous-hazardous-chemicals, particularly, highly-volatile-solvents. In-addition, lack of Democratic-control, and lack of training and awareness of safer-alternatives, to-hazardous-chemicals, as-well-as unsafe-working-practices, were identified.  To-eliminate, or to-reduce workers’ exposure to-chemicals, and to-protect the-environment, this-study provided numerous-general-recommendations (under Engineering and Administrative-control-methods), applicable to any-textile-printing-industry, as-well-as proposals, specifically-tailored to the-subject-department. The-recommendations were, largely, based on the-following-approaches of Cleaner-Production, such-as: input-substitution; better-process control; equipment-modification; on-site recovery/reuse; and good-housekeeping-practices. In-addition, areas for further-research was identified. Moreover, informative-synopsis on: Complex, and simple-definition for a-hazardous-chemical; The-United-Nations Globally-Harmonized-System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS); Volatile-Organic-Pollutants; Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs); Rotary-printing machine, its-operation, chemicals, involved, and their-hazards and emissions, were offered. The-study is believed, to-be important, not only for the-target-department and the-management, of the-mill, but also for the-textile-printing-industry-professionals.

Keywords: VOC, MSD, MSI, MSDS, ventilation, air pollution, water pollution, flammability, PPE.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-7467 ISSN (Online)2225-0913

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