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Safely Handling Inks

Inks


When artists know their properties and techniques, inks can be very useful to the artist’s arsenal.  Inks are typically used in writing and drawing utensils, in large scale printing operations, and in consumer printers.

There are two major classifications of inks that artists may used: dye based inks and pigment based inks.

Dye based inks can be water-based, but are typically made with solvents which help the ink dry quick.   Dye based inks tend to fade quicker in direct light and are generally considered water soluble.  The solvent potential toxic nature of some of these inks require proper disposal through EH&S.

Pigment based inks can also be water and solvent based.  Pigment based inks tend to have a higher fade resistance than dye based inks.  They require resins or binding agents to complete the adhesion of the ink to the surface of the media being used.   Some pigments may be highly toxic and proper personal protection should be used when working with large quantities of these dyes.  As with dye based inks, the solvent and toxic nature of some of these inks requires proper disposal through EH&S.  An SDS must be made available for all materials used in the studio.

Waste material will need to be disposed of properly through EH&S through the chemical/hazardous waste pickup form.  Please refer to our hazardous waste guidelines, the 5Ls, for further guidance.   If you have specific questions as to how to dispose of your dye materials, please consult your Safety Coordinator or Environmental Health & Safety at x4-8749.  If you have specific questions as to how to dispose of your inks, please consult your Safety Coordinator or Environmental Health & Safety at x4-8749.