MARIETTA, Ga., July 18, 2012—UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), launched today its revised third-party environmental standard for printing inks: UL 2801. This updated multi-attribute standard now includes criteria for certifying eight new subcategories of printing inks, as well as health-based measures to better protect people and the planet from hazardous substances.
“Printing inks contain heavy metals, petroleum distillates, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are of health and environmental concern,” says Angela Griffiths, head of operations at UL Environment. “Introducing criteria that reduce the use of toxic chemicals in inks is a positive change to UL Environment’s Printing Inks Standard. The new revisions will help conserve nonrenewable resources, improve indoor air quality for print shop workers, and reduce adverse health effects from exposure to heavy metals.”
Health-based provisions are an integral part of the revised Printing Inks Standard. The criteria state that UL Environment-certified printing ink products may not contain hazardous substances in concentrations proven to have carcinogenic, mutagenic, and/or reproductive and developmental effects according to the European Union Directive 1272 (2008). See the standard online for further health-based conditions.
New subcategories added to the UL 2801 standard include: gravure, flexographic, inkjet, and screen printing solvent-based inks; inkjet and screen printing water-based inks; and inkjet ultra violet (UV) and screen printing UV curable inks.
The revised UL 2801 standard also includes three new components, which are present in all recently revised or developed UL Environment standards: packaging; energy management and policy; and socially and environmentally responsible manufacturing. These three components aim to encourage continuous improvement for resource/waste, energy, environmental, and workplace management.