Health & Safety

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Got a question? Consult the Regulatory Compliance Department's FAQ section to get the answers you need. We've collected some of our most frequently asked questions and arranged them for your convenience:

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Get in touch with a technical expert by calling Nazdar Customer Service:
800-767-9942 or e-mail:

Or the Nazdar Technical Hotline:
(866) 340-3579 or e-mail:


Q: What is an MSDS?
A: OSHA's hazard communication standard requires employers to maintain a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for each hazardous chemical and to make the MSDS available to employees.

Q: What kind of information is on a MSDS?

  • The manufacturer
  • Ingredients and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
  • Numerous physical/chemical properties
  • Health problems or illnesses that could result from exposure
  • What to use to put out a fire
  • Correct handling, storage and disposal procedures
  • Types of protective clothing required such as gloves, goggles and aprons
  • Other topics such as Transportation, Toxicological or Special Precautions


Q: What is the OSHA 300 Log?
A: The OSHA 300 log is used for recording and classifying occupational injuries and illnesses and for noting the extent of medical care provided.

If you need more information regarding the OSHA 300 log, please Click Here to dowload the OSHA Record Keeping Forms as PDF.


Q: What is the Coalition of Northeastern Governor's (CONEG)?
A: Numerous states have passed hazardous packaging regulations that will impact both the screen printing and supply industries. This legislation, modeled after the Council of State Governments (CSG) toxics reduction legislation, sets limits on the amount of lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium that can be found in any package or packaging components. Packaging components have been defined as any individual assembled part of a package, including inks and labels. The CSG has taken over this legislation originated by CONEG (Coalition of Northeastern Governors). For more information, visit their website at: Essentially, the law states that no product shall be offered for sale or for promotional purposes in a package that contains levels of the aforementioned heavy metals in excess of 100 parts per million (0.01%), effective January 1, 1994.

Q: What Nazdar products currently comply with CONEG regulations?
A: Following is a letter from Nazdar listing the ink lines which comply with current CSG regulations regarding content of lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium.

View the CONEG (CSG) Inks Letter

*Refer to the MSDS and/or catalog for colors in this series containing lead, which do not comply with the CSG legislation. Please be aware that this information has been taken from random sampling for the purpose of certifying with regards to the CSG toxic packaging legislation only. Some situations may require batch specific testing. This cost would be incurred by the customer.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Compliance and Screen Printing

Q: What FDA Compliance issues are there in Screen Printing inks?
A: Often screen printers have questions concerning Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliance of the ink they are using to print on food or food packaging. Commonly, the end user of the finished product will require a statement of FDA compliance from the printer. In turn, the printers are requesting FDA compliance from the ink manufacturers.

Q: How can you tell if a screen ink is suitable for use on food products and packaging?
A: Several items must be looked at before one can determine if a screen printing ink is suitable for use on food products or food packaging.

First, is the ink going to be in direct or indirect contact with the food product? A processing or packaging component (ink), which is intended to be in immediate contact with the food is a direct contact material. An example is the inside surface of a bread bag which does come into contact with the loaf of bread. Indirect contact is only occasional or minimal contact with a food product. The outside surface of a bread bag is a good example of indirect contact. If a material will be in direct contact with food, it must be composed only of direct or indirect food additives as found in 21 CFR 170-189. Please note that none of Nazdar's inks are composed of direct or indirect food additives and are therefore not suited for direct food contact use.

The second item in determining whether or not screen printing ink can be used in food applications is the presence of a food-contact-approved functional barrier. The FDA states that if there is a food-contact-approved functional barrier (e.g., resinous coating, protective film, transparent cover, etc.) separating printed material from the food, then such use of printing ink is not a food-additive situation. The functional barrier must be of sufficient thickness and continuity that it prevents the ink from passing through the coating and migrating to the food. The manufacturer of the barrier must employ good manufacturing practices to ensure that the barrier has formed a continuous coating so that no pin holing is present and the barrier is of sufficient thickness to prevent ink migration.

Q: What are the restrictions with functional barriers and food packaging printing?
A: In a situation where a printer has an approved functional barrier between the surface to be printed and the food product, conventional water and solvent-based inks may be used for printing. To determine whether or not a functional barrier is of the quality needed to prevent ink migration, the FDA should be consulted. In addition to discussing functional barriers, the ink chemistry, application and end product use should be discussed and reviewed by the FDA prior to printing.

Q: What are the restrictions with UV inks on food packaging?
A: Ultra-Violet (UV) curable screen inks have different properties than water and solvent-based inks. Because 100 percent polymerization or cure cannot be achieved or guaranteed in the UV process, there is the possibility that untreated residual monomers, oligomers and photo initiators remain in and on the surface of the printed ink film and may migrate to the food product. Currently neither UV inks nor UV raw materials are approved for direct or indirect food contact and are not recommended for use on food packaging even when separated by a functional barrier. Recently the FDA has delivered a ban on the use of lead and cadmium based decorations on the top 20mm of glass drinkware distributed in the US. The ban is intended to protect children.

For more information from the FDA, consult their website at:

UV Ink Safety and Handling

Q: What are the unique characteristics of UV Inks?
A: UV inks cures only by exposure to ultraviolet light - not evaporation ­ and are 100% solid (solvent and water-based inks are approximately 50% solid and 50% solvent or water).

Q: What are the hazards associated with UV Ink skin contact?
A: UV inks contain acrylates which may cause:

  • irritation
  • redness
  • burns
  • blistering (contact with the skin)*

*Repeated skin contact may cause sensitization. Sensitized individuals may develop the previous symptoms even if exposed to small quantities of ink.

Q: What precautions should be taken when using UV Ink?
A: Wear impervious gloves and protective glasses. Wear impervious aprons and shoes (Press operators).

Q: What should I do if I come into contact with a UV curable product?

  1. Immediately flush eyes with large amounts of cool water (15 minutes) and seek medical attention. A MSDS of the product should be taken to the doctor.
  2. Immediately wash skin with large amounts of water. Use soap and water or other skin cleaning compounds to remove ink.
  3. Never try to remove UV ink from the skin by using solvent or thinners. Such action is likely to increase the possibility of undesirable effects.
  4. The presence or consumption of food, beverages or smoking materials should be banned from the work environment. Operators should wash their hands thoroughly prior to eating, drinking or smoking to eliminate accidental ingestion of UV curable materials.
  5. All garments and protective clothing, soiled with even small amounts of UV materials, should be discarded or laundered in hot water and detergent, separately from other garments.
  6. Housekeeping should emphasize the necessity of cleaning up spills, cleaning utensils such as measuring equipment, knives and stirrers. Because UV ink will not dry unless exposed to intense UV light, it is easily spread from one area to another without anyone realizing it.

The most important item in UV safety is proper training in the correct use and housekeeping of ultraviolet curable inks. If the above steps are followed, UV ink will provide excellent results with minimal health and safety problems.

Toy Specifications

Q: What are the standards for lead and other heavy metals in paints and elemental lead in children's toys?
A: The following are the mandatory and voluntary standards for children's toys:

Ban of Lead-Containing Paint and Certain Consumer Products Bearing Lead-Containing Paint (16 CFR 1303) This mandatory standard (regulation) was issued by a U.S. government agency and has the force of law. Toys or other articles intended for use by children are not to be marketed if they bear lead-containing paint or other surface coatings (ink). Lead-containing paint or other surface coatings are defined as having lead in excess of 0.06% (600 ppm) of the weight of the total nonvolatile content of the paint or the weight of the dried paint film.
Paint and similar surface-coating materials such as varnish, shellac and lacquer are banned from paint intended for use in residences, schools, hospitals, parks, playgrounds, public buildings, and other areas where consumers will have direct access to painted surfaces, if the paint or surface coating contains lead or lead compounds in excess of 0.06% (600 ppm).

Voluntary standards are issued by private groups, often through a consensus process. Their use is wholly voluntary, unless a state or local governmental entity has adopted or incorporated them. These standards are often required by the end receiver of printed products. Although they are not law, they may be required by customers.

(ASTM F 963 - 96a)
This voluntary standard sets limits for the amount of antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and selenium in surface-coating materials applied to children's toys. These limits are as follows:

(1000 ppm)
(75 ppm)
(60 ppm)
(90 ppm)
(60 ppm)
(500 ppm)

(EN 71-3: 1994)
The European standard for toys sets limits for the same chemicals as the Voluntary ASTM F-963 standard. All limits are identical except for Barium whose limit is set at 500 ppm or 0.0500%.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Q: What is a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)?
A: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are defined by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as organic compounds which participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions. In terms that we can all understand, a VOC is anything that evaporates and causes air pollution.

Not a VOC:

  • Water: Evaporates but doesn't cause harmful air pollution.
  • Resin: Doesn't have the ability to evaporate.
  • Pigment: Dry powder, therefore doesn't evaporate.

Solvents used in inks and associated products are the main concern to the coating industry. Solvents have the ability to evaporate and meet the criteria of an air pollutant. (Examples of VOCs are xylene and toluene.)

Q: Mathematically, what is a VOC?
A: The amount of VOCs in products are determined by calculating the amount of solvent present in a gallon or liter of ink, excluding water and EPA-exempt solvents, and expressed in either pounds per gallon, or grams per liter.

Knowing the weight per gallon (WPG) and the weight solids of a solvent-based ink, the VOCs can be calculated according to the following equation:
VOC = WPG x (100% minus % solids in product)

For example, a solvent based ink weighing 10.0 pounds per gallon and having a weight solids of 70% would have the following VOC amount:
VOC = 10.0 WPG x (100% - 70%)
VOC = 10.0 WPG x (30%)
VOC = 3.0 WPG
(3.0 pounds of VOCs exist in each gallon of ink)

To convert pounds per gallon to grams per liter (g/L) use the following conversion factor:
Lb/Gal to g/L    multiply by 119.84
g/L to Lb/Gal    divide by 119.84

In the example above, to convert 3.0 Lb/Gal of VOCs to g/L, perform the following:
3.0 X 119.84 = 359.5 g/L
(359.5 grams of VOCs exist in each liter of ink)

Hazardous Materials Identification System (HMIS)

Q: What is the Hazardous Materials Identification System (HMIS)?
A: HMIS was developed by the National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA) to provide information on the acute health hazards, flammability and reactivity of products encountered in the workplace at room temperatures. HMIS is a visual system using colors, numbers, letters of the alphabet and symbols to communicate risk information to workers. The HMIS program communicates necessary hazard information to supervisors and employees in a uniform and easily understandable manner. The program is based on a rating scheme designed to be as compatible as possible with hazard communication systems such as ANSI, NIOSH and others used by industry. HMIS codes assigned are only suggested ratings based on anticipated normal screen printing applications.

The employer has the ultimate responsibility for assigning these ratings and should fully evaluate the MSDS, work practices and environmental conditions prior to assigning the appropriate ratings.

Hazardous Waste

Q: What is Waste?
A: Any solid, liquid, or contained gaseous material that is no longer useable and is either recycled, thrown away or stored until enough has been generated to treat or dispose.

A non-hazardous waste mixed with either a characteristic or listed waste will be considered hazardous waste.

Q: How can waste be identified as Hazardous?
A: There are two ways a waste may be identified as HAZARDOUS:

A waste that exhibits any of the following characteristics:

  • IGNITABLE - Inks, Solvents - Flash Point less than 140°F
  • CORROSIVE - Acids, Caustics - pH less than or equal to 2 or greater than or equal to 12.5
  • REACTIVE - Explosives, Peroxides
  • TOXIC - Metals, Pesticides, Organics

A waste is considered hazardous if it appears on any one of the four lists of hazardous waste contained in EPA regulations. These wastes have been listed because they either exhibit one of the characteristics described above or contain any number of toxic constituents that have been shown to be harmful to health and the environment. The regulations list over 400 hazardous wastes, including waste derived from manufacturing processes and discarded commercial chemical products.

Generator Categories:
Important: These categories may vary by state. The categories below dictate the amount of regulations that will be applicable to the generator. A smaller amount of waste generated means a smaller amount of applicable regulations.

Generates less than 220 lbs/month of a hazardous waste

Generates between 220 - 2200 lbs/month of a hazardous waste

Generates 2200 lbs/month or more of a hazardous waste

A printer will commonly generate wastes that can be identified as hazardous. Processes that can generate wastes are screen cleaning, screen reclaiming, color matching and outdated/unusable materials.

If waste ink is accumulated that has a flash point less than 140°F or contains enough lead to be regulated, then this waste will be considered hazardous.

If a screen wash is accumulated that has a flash point greater than 140°F, but contains a material that is considered toxic (e.g. Methyl Ethyl Ketone) or contains a listed waste (e.g. Xylene, Toluene), then this waste is considered hazardous.