Is Printer Ink Toxic? The Truth Revealed

Printers are a standard tool for printing in our daily life. We use different types of printers for various purposes. But printers use several kinds of inks rather than a single specific one. Does printer ink pose any threat to our health? Is printer ink toxic?

Most of the Printer inks are non-toxic. They pose minor threats like skin rash and headaches even if you accidentally break a cartridge. But continuous exposure makes health conditions worse. It is quite possible to have Asthma and even Cancer due to printer ink exposure.

If you use it in a ventilated system, you can stop continuous exposure to printer ink. Try not to get any ink stain on your skin, and use a mask when cleaning the printer.

Is Printer Ink Toxic?

What Is Printer Ink, And How Is It Made?

Printer ink is basically ink used for printing documents and sheets. Different types of printers use different types of ink. That’s why the elements of the inks are different.

Varnish, Resins, Additives, and Pigments are the base constitutes of any printer ink. It’s like making paint. You just have to mix them orderly.

Resins work as a binder in ink. It improves binding and ensures hardness and adherence of the ink.

Varnish is the foundation of ink. It is made of oil, solvents, and resins.

Pigments evenly add color to the ink. Black and white pigments are the most common ones in use.

Additives increase resistance and improve printability. It also works as a drying agent and maintains the pH of the print.

Is Printer Ink Toxic?

Printer ink is primarily non-toxic. Accidental inhaling and consumption might be responsible for some illnesses.

Continuous exposure to printer ink makes health conditions worse. You might even have Carcinogenic diseases like Cancer if your body absorbs printer ink regularly.

Laser Printer

Laser printers use dye to print. As a result, it can provide a high-quantity print. A laser printer uses a light-sensitive drum to print on the paper. It delivers stunning color prints, which also include nano-metal particles.

Using a laser print frequently can lead to Cancer. It can even harm the human respiratory system. Some tests found that laser print pollution is as same as highway pollution.

Inkjet Printer

Inkjet printers deliver high-quality print using color dot technology—small nozzles in the printer discharge color droplets on the paper.

Most Inkjet printer ink doesn’t pose any serious threat to human health. But when heavy metals like Lead or Cadmiumare used, they can cause severe health issues. Otherwise, it is responsible for minor skin rash, eye irritation, headache, etc.

FDA Approved Edible Ink?

FDA (Food and Drug Administration) follows the ‘Food Additive Status List’ and ‘Food and Color Additive Petitions’ that label an ink as edible.

The authority disapproves of using a regular printer or ink for food printing. Fondant paper and Chocolate Transfer paper are used for printing. FDA also doesn’t approve of using the same paper for different uses.

Many FDA-approved edible inks are available in the market.

Chroma is an FDA-approved available edible ink. It has the highest purity. Many shades of Chroma are available that are safe to use. It is primarily compatible with Canon’s printers.

Epson is another brand that makes both printers and edible ink cartridges. But cartridges work for a particular model.

Fantasia is more appropriate to print on food and beverage. For example, it is used on bread, muffins, pancakes,  milkshakes, and yogurt.

Kopybake ink is used in Epson, Canon edible printers. It comes in four different colors.

If Printer Ink Spills On Your Skin, What Should You Do?

No matter how careful you are while handling printer ink, accidents can occur. Here are some suggestions to follow during emergencies on  ink spills:

  • Rub alcohol on your skin to remove the stain. Then, use soap to clean the affected part. It is the safest way to remove the ink stain.
  • Hairspray is a good remedy too. Just spray it on your skin and wait till the ink melts. Then, wash it off with soap.
  • Essential oils like tea tree oil improve skin health. Take a few drops of the oil onto a cloth and rub the fabric on your skin. Then, for better results, use a brush and repeat the process.
  • Apply Nail Polish Remover on the affected area. Ink will come off smoothly off your skin. Then wash the affected skin.
  • Bleach and Glass cleaner works fine on the ink stain. Use bleach if you don’t have the mentioned elements because it damages the skin.
  • Spray Glass Cleaner before the ink dries up, and then wipe it off.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is printer ink cancerous?

Printer ink isn’t cancerous if used in a safe office environment. However, researchers found carcinogenic nanoparticles in printer ink. Carcinogens are responsible for Cancer.

Avoid using broken cartridges, and hold your breath if you’ve been exposed near an open cartridge.

Is ink on paper terrible for you?

If you read too many colorful magazines and handle newspapers regularly, it’s terrible for your skin. Never use newspapers as a food wrapper.

Newspapers use the most toxic printer ink. This is because pigments, binders, and additives are used to make printer ink. These elements aren’t good for human health.

Are ink fumes toxic?

Ink fumes aren’t toxic at all. If you feel uneasy around ink fumes, get some fresh air.

Beware of broken cartridges. Never inhale when a broken one is near you. It may cause carcinogenic diseases.

Should you wear a mask when screen printing?

Always use a mask when you’re screen printing. But if you’ve respiratory problems or sinus problems, use a mask. Otherwise, it may even lead to Cancer. Also, these masks will save you from mild headaches and Asthma.


We use printer ink every day to print something important. Obviously, there are some pros and cons of using it. But, we can regulate those cons using some safety equipment.

Sois Printer Ink Toxic? You’ll now have a good insight into using the ink safely. Don’t panic if you can’t erase the ink stain. Just follow the methods to clean them off. Always remember to check the labels if the ink is FDA approved. Stay safe while printing!