Skin irritation by inks and coloring agents

Bison code: L.28285


SPGPrints is a worldwide operating supplier of technology to print textiles, located in Boxmeer. Products of SPGPrints are rotation silkscreen machines, screens for these, inkjet systems for textiles and inks for inkjet printer (More info:

Problem description

SPGPrints develops and produces inks for printing textile materials. These inks contain coloring agents and a large number of additives. Types of ink that are being produced are:

– direct dispersive inks (with dispersive coloring agents) for polyester
– reactive inks (with reactive coloring agents( for cotton and viscose)
– Acid inks (with acid coloring agents) for silk and polyamide
– Transfer inks (with dispersive coloring agents) for transfer print and polyester.

SPGPrints produces these inks, from components bought all over the world, such as the coloring agents and additives. Legal requirements that are getting more stringent are directly influencing the development of these inks. These are related to health risks for the person involved in the production, but also for the end-users using the textiles. Skin irritation is an important element in this and there is a lack of knowledge in this area. Different certification systems (ZHDC, Oeko100) also add more restrictions, which already lead to serious issues in the use of coloring agents, but certainly in the near future.

SPGPrints is therefore looking for a tool and knowledge to detect early on potential skin irritation properties of the coloring agents and inks they wish to use or produce.


– analyze risks and risk situations, by researching the chemistry of the different coloring agents, including the health risks involved.
– review the legal framework relevant to this, including the requirements of the relevant certification systems.
– develop and setup and experimental methodology to determine the skin irritation properties of different agents.
– with all the above components, advice can be given with suggestions on how to minimize and manage risks on skin irritation by inks and coloring agents.

Cluster: Nano Sensoring