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I am using two billboard liners to line the "raceways/raft tanks" and was wondering if anyone knew if it would be a problem (in terms of dyes leaching or poisoning the water) to use the printed side up. I know the online source that sells them, says you must place ad side down, but the ad will mostly be covered up by the rafts and the colors will mostly only show on the top 8" of block and slightly on the sides. It's much lighter in color (blues, yellows, red etc), so will be a lot less heat absorbing then the black side and kind of looks fun.

We layed them in today, then my husband said to me tonight that he wonders if anyone will have a problem with it. Surprisingly, there's no offgassing smell typical of vinyl. I am guessing that is the result of being exposed to the elements.

Does anyone know if the dyes used to make them have any metals in them?

Thanks, Michelle

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Comment by Carl Smith on August 24, 2010 at 10:32pm
Are your billboard vinyls really black or were they printed black? My vinyls are white except where printed.
Comment by Carl Smith on August 24, 2010 at 10:30pm
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) refers to organic chemical compounds which have significant vapor pressures and which can affect the environment and human health. VOCs are numerous, varied, and ubiquitous. Although VOCs include both man-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds, it is the anthropogenic VOCs that are regulated, especially for indoors where concentrations can be highest. VOCs are typically not acutely toxic but have chronic effects. Because the concentrations are usually low and the symptoms slow to develop, analysis of VOCs and their effects is a demanding area.
Comment by Carl Smith on August 24, 2010 at 10:29pm
I would not use the print side. They are usually printed using solvent inks: (Info from Wikipedia)
Solvent inks: the main ingredient of these inks are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), organic chemical compounds that have high vapor pressures. Color is achieved using pigments rather than dyes for excellent fade-resistance. The chief advantage of solvent inks is that they are comparatively inexpensive and enable printing on flexible, uncoated vinyl substrates, which are used to produce vehicle graphics, billboards, banners and adhesive decals. Disadvantages include the vapour produced by the solvent and the need to dispose of used solvent. Unlike most aqueous inks, prints made using solvent-based inks are generally waterproof and ultraviolet-resistant (for outdoor use) without special over-coatings. The high print speed of many solvent printers demands special drying equipment, usually a combination of heaters and blowers. The substrate is usually heated immediately before and after the print heads apply ink. Solvent inks are divided into two sub-categories:

* Hard solvent ink offers the greatest durability without specialized over-coatings but requires specialized ventilation of the printing area to avoid exposure to hazardous fumes.
* Mild or "Eco" solvent inks, while still not as safe as aqueous inks, are intended for use in enclosed spaces without specialized ventilation of the printing area. Mild solvent inks have rapidly gained popularity in recent years as their color quality and durability have increased while ink cost has dropped significantly.
The key is the VOC volatile organic compounds:

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