IBM’s toxic, chemical ink dumping seeps into upstate New York country club

16 11 2007

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Toxic inks dump in Lagos, Nigeria, www.ban.org 2007

For many, printing comes across as an environmentally benign industry – just how harmful can cartridge inks and paper be? This week’s investigation from the Press & Sun Bulletin (Birmingham, New York) suggests a darker story about the negative human health effects of traditional printing industry inks.

Subterranean chemicals, including those part of a class called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), from a former chemical burn pit owned by IBM in the pre-regulation 1950s through to the 1970s has likely re-emerged and spread under an upstate New York Country Binghamton Country Club property to the south, according to recent tests overseen by state health and environmental officials.

Exposure to VOCs, such as the “acids, metal strippers, printing inks, ether and various solvents” IBM used for manufacturing operations for plating and printing, pose health threats such as cancer to brain damage.

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While HP may deny the harmful health effects of VOCs, Green Printer uses a variety of eco-friendly printing methods and inks. Depending on a job, Green Printer uses everything from soy and vegetable based inks to dry ink used on digital press. Dry ink is by far the most eco-friendly solution because it doesn’t emit any VOCs in the printing process.


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5 responses to “IBM’s toxic, chemical ink dumping seeps into upstate New York country club”

30 11 2007
Dan (07:44:47) :

Thanks for highlighting this story. Tom Wilbur has been an ace covering the twin issues of groundwater pollution and vapor intrusion from old toxic waste spills/dumps. I’m not sure about your interpretation: I’d bet the bulk of that pollution is from solvents used in chip manufacturing and the like, not printer inks. (Also, it’s Binghamton, not Birmingham.)

2 03 2008
Green Printer Blog (13:11:25) :

[…] post earlier on the how the chemicals that seep into the soil, even decades later, can have harmful human health effects and the fact that heaps of the stuff are often left abandoned in developing […]

3 03 2008
A green biz guide to recycling electronics - Origin Design does “Mission Zero” : Save a Tree - Print Green - Green Options (09:32:43) :

[…] post earlier on the how the chemicals that seep into the soil, even decades later, can have harmful human health effects and the fact that heaps of the stuff are often left abandoned in developing […]

3 06 2009
Green Printer Blog » Ads Made of Sea Water: Three reasons to re-imagine your design (14:20:48) :

[…] In 1980s, you could have conjured nasty words like ’subterranean chemicals’ or ‘volatile organic compounds‘ […]

3 06 2009
Ads Made of Sea Water: Three reasons to re-imagine your design : Save a Tree - Print Green - Green Options (14:27:55) :

[…] In 1980s, you could have conjured nasty words like ’subterranean chemicals’ or ‘volatile organic compounds‘ […]

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