Allergic Reactions to UV?


Active member
I recently met someone who broke out with a severe rash on arms, then spread from there. It was diagnosed as contact dermatitis. Has anyone else experienced allergic reactions to UV coating or the lamps or the exhaust, from anything related to UV? Never had a problem, worked in print shop for many years. Problems began after UV coater was installed.
This problem is somewhat common. I see this happen in 1 out of every 3 shops. I have attached a handling guideline to this post.


  • UV Handling.pdf
    21.4 KB · Views: 530
UV coating requires lots of respect. Never handle it without gloves, once you become sensitized to it you might as well get out of the trade as just being near it could cause you to break out. UV Inks now are much better than 'the good old days' when I used to sometimes see people get nose bleeds working with the stuff. UV washes are very strong so give them the same respect as coating.
I have had what i think is a reaction to UV ink. However, I don't work directly with it; the press 50 feet behind mine uses it occasionally. What I wonder is, can there be a mist or volatile compounds that get in the air? I had a severe rash - burning itchy, dry - which coincided with the introduction of the UV to that press. I can find a little about the allergic reactions from those who are in contact with it, but little as far as mist effects, if any.
I did a patch test to see if I had a reaction to the ink, but there was little effect, so my job is calling it even. They want to put me back on press in that area again; I haven't even finished the medications that just cost me over hundred bucks. I was wondering where I can find further information to help me determine that it is UV ink, so I can get out of there.
Any suggestions?
Check out the kind of UV wash they are using, these can be very aggressive also and will mist into the air during wash ups, also check out the type of UV coating on the press if they are using coating as this can cause reactions. When we put our UV in we did what they call a smoke pen test, this shows you where in your plant the fumes from the UV press are going to, you may be the unlucky person who's getting the full effect of the UV. The company needs to put in environmental controls to neutralize the fumes from the UV system.
It is definitely the UV coating causing the reaction. We do not have UV inks in house. When in contact with the wet UV coating, the rash begins to appear the next day and if not treated with a medicated salve the rash will worsen and spread. Tests are scheduled at St. Michaels Hospital inn late summer. A biopsy was already performed on the rash and it was confirmed to be a contact dermatitis.
Dont ever let yourself get in contact with 'wet' UV coating, Your company should supply gloves and a mask. We supply all our people who are working on the UV with some basic personal protection (Gloves, Respirator, Goggles) We also installed hoods over our UV coaters to extract fumes and mist. Even the 55 gallon drum of UV coating we pump out of has an extractor built into the lid. Once you have sensitized people to UV it's very difficult to cure.
UK it's definitely good manufacturing practice and embraced by the Health and Safety people. Not sure if its the Law though, US I do not know.
I am not sure if we use UV coating extensively. The press I am near runs basic 4 color process UV. There are no files for the MSDS for these colors; I got a copy from our materials guy, who got it from the manufacturer. It was a joke, with the bare minumum of info - don't bathe in it, or drink it, etc. The MSDS for the UV coating is from 2003. SO I cannot find anything that will indicate misting of VOCs or any other chemicals, or even a basic list of the compounds in it, to at least have the allergist check.
Their solution was to give me Tyvek sleeves for my arms. That way, they are protected, and if my neck breaks out again, we'll know it's the air. Of course, I am still taking the prescriptions to clear it up, so basically I am bailing a sinking boat.
I need to figure out how to prove it's the ink, and how to get worker's comp to repay for for all the expenses of these doctor visits. I could have flown to Florida and bought my son a swing set with all the wasted money so far.
Last edited:
I've attached a 2009 MSDS sheet for UV coating from Nicoat. Section 4 states inhalation of mist or vapor may cause respiratory tract irritation, skin contact causes moderate irritation and redness, possible skin allergen. Section 6 states Chronic Effects: Dermatitis. May aggravate existing skin, eye, and lung conditions.
I'm wondering if there is a connection between having hereditary skin irritations such as Psoriasis and being sensitive to UV coatings. If anyone has had a rash from UV coating and has hereditary skin irritations, let me know, either by public or private message.
Coating MSDS Link:
I am attaching a link to an MSDS sheet for UV coating. Link:

Section 4 states inhalation of mist or vapor may cause respiratory tract irritation and skin contact causes moderate irritation and redness, possible skin allergen. Section 6 states Chronic Effects: Dermatitis. May aggravate existing skin, eye, and lung conditions.

Is there a connection between hereditary skin irritations such as Psoriasis and rashes related to UV coatings? I'm wondering if those who are sensitive to UV coatings, have some sort of hereditary skin irritations? If there are any of you, please let me know, either by public or private message.
Sorry, I may have a double entry, with same info, wasn't sure whether the first one went through.


A 30-day Fix for Managed Chaos

As any print professional knows, printing can be managed chaos. Software that solves multiple problems and provides measurable and monetizable value has a direct impact on the bottom-line.

“We reduced order entry costs by about 40%.” Significant savings in a shop that turns about 500 jobs a month.

Learn how…….