I try to be eco friendly in my studio. Recently got a request from a friend and former participant in my Letterpress Lab about press cleaning because she might be pregnant. I’m not an expert, but I hired an expert in 2002 to evaluate our production process. If it’s useful for you below is my response to my friend and if you have more to add, please do!
In 2002 my part time employee was pregnant and we hired an Occupational Therapist from Cal State LA to evaluate our work process. For ventilation he had special smoke sticks but also said if smoke sticks not available “light a cigarette and see how the smoke moves.” If smoke moves toward the window or air vent you’re good. If not you need to improve ventilation. He took substances I used to the lab. The soy inks were best, oil inks and plate material drainage were ok. But even with the Ecolo Clean that we used at the time he said my pregnant employee should leave the room for awhile while I clean the press. The 2-step cleaning I do now with mineral oil/Simple Green, as far as I know, is safe. Clean with mineral oil, and finish with Simple Green to remove the oily finish. Don’t leave any moisture on the metal ink disk or rollers to avoid rust. It’s more elbow grease but I prefer it because I feel ok not wearing gloves. I occasionally use Soy Solve if the ink is dry on the rollers. But even though it’s soy based, it’s a strong substance.
This is my experience from back in 2002. ?I remember the OT saying it’s good to pay attention to fumes in the air, but it’s more what we eat that causes harm. He was also a big fan of organic food. 🙂