Criteria for the Quality Label

Requirements for washing agents for which a Quality Label application is submitted


When used, the product must not exceed the relevant occupational exposure limit value. (Products which satisfy the following criteria normally fulfill this requirement.)¹⁾


Criteria or Hazardous SubstanceHealth GroundsTechnical Grounds
Flash point above 60°C low evaporation rate, thus reduced air contamination

GHS labelling threshold;

no special explosion protection measures necessary;

lower consumption;


Content less than 0.1%
carcinogenic Aromatic compounds can damage seals, roller and blanket materials.
Toluene and Xylene content less that 1% AGW ²⁾ (≈ OEL Occupational Exposure Limit Value) 50 and 100 ppm respectively

Aromatic compounds:


Content (≥C₉)

less than 1%

hazardous substances:


low AGW ²⁾ values

Substances which the cleaning agents must not contain:

halogenated hydrocarbons neurotoxic; ozone-depleting can damage blankets (shrinkage / swelling)
terpenes sensitizing; can cause skin irritation can damage various materials in the printing machine
n-hexane neurotoxic; AGW ²⁾ 50 ppm very low flash point (-22°C); other hydrocarbon-based washing agents can be used
secondary amines and amides possible formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines under certain conditions brass corrosion; other anticorrosives available
nonylphenole and its derivates reprotoxic substitutes available: e.g. sorbitan laurate as an emulsifier
N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP)

reprotoxic, easily absorbed through the skin,

corrosive/irritant to skin; AGW ²⁾ (steam) 20 ppm
2-butoxyethanol AGW ²⁾ 10 ppm since January 2012; on the basis of toxicological data and GHS classification criteria: “Toxic upon contact with skin or if inhaled”; high steam pressure
Substances which, when used, represent unacceptable health risks in the light of the current state of knowledge in the fields of occupational health and toxicology.

¹⁾For products containing VOCs with an AGW (≈ Occupational Exposure Limit Value) < 25 ppm with more than 25% w/w, the manufacturers must prove (with measurement test results, for example) that the AGW ²⁾ can be safely complied with under normal offset printing conditions.


²⁾AGW Arbeitsplatzgrenzwert (≈ Occupational Exposure Limit Value OEL) pursuant to TRGS 900 ( Germany’s ‘Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances’)


Dr. Nadine Metz

printing and paper processing