safety of california wash during pregnancy?

So I keep hearing about how great and eco friendly California Wash is, but does anyone have any knowledge/opinions about its use during pregnancy?

Thanks for any feedback!

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The easiest and best way to find this info is to request an MSDS sheet from the makers. By law, they must provide this to you, and in many cases they are posted online.

The MSDS sheet will list all of the ingredients, their relative hazards, and what precautions should be taken for safe use. It is the most reliable way to find the info you are seeking. The other advise I’d offer is to discuss it with your physician…. they tend to be overly cautious, but they probably know a lot about the subject.

I’d be cautious about listening to advice from an Internet Forum about this particular subject. Your health and that of your baby are too important to let “consensus opinion” dictate your decision.

Most folks here will indeed tell you the correct truth. However, others who claim to be experts will have no idea what they are saying. Still others will approach the discussion from a political / ideological point of view. I’ve noticed that the UN-informed arguements take one of several forms:

a. “Sure, it’s FINE…. no problemo… I’ve been using it for years and years and it’s never hurt me”…. said as the speaker’s eye twitches uncontrolably.

OR b. “No way! Such toxins will rot your liver, kill your brain cells, make your skin look like that of a fifty year old chain smoker, and cause your baby to be suceptable to electromagnetic waves from our Alien Brothers.”

OR c. “I always use turkey fat for cleaning my rollers… it’s the way Mother Nature wants us to do it.”

Actually, all of the above arguments are gross exagerations to illustrate the point…. which is that it is difficult to determine which person is right and which is not. The only way I know to get to the bottom of it is to refer to the MSDS, and or discuss it with your physician.

Winking Cat is exactly right. I googled: msds california wash and the first thing that came up is the MSDS sheet from Tower Products. It gives all the information and a contact number and all the precautions to take. Good Luck and take care!



Talk to your doctor, not us. I have had several (many) pregnant women take my letterpress classes and that is my advice to them. Those who did talk to their doctor received no warnings other than to use gloves.

Recently an ex-student who acquired a lot of silkscreen inks and thought they were hazardous and began freaking out about it so much she went to the doctor. He asked her if she had pica (sp?), meaning, did she eat things that she shouldn’t.

End of story.


I see that I am about 9 years late on this thread, but I think it could be helpful to other pregnant folks to pass on my experience. My shop uses California Wash, and during my pregnancy I talked to my midwife about the possible risks. She referred me to the Texas Teratogen Information Service to speak with one of their specialists directly. I called them and gave them the list of ingredients from the California Wash Material Data Safety Sheet. The answer I got was that existing animal data shows no increased risk for birth defects from exposure to the vapors present in CA Wash (based on an exposure rate many times greater than my exposure using it on average once or twice a day, 4 or 5 days a week). That being said, everyone should talk to their own medical providers and make their own choices (I also agree with winking cat press’ thoughts on consensus opinion). Cheers.