Printer Toner May Pose Health Risks
By Kerri Krueger
There’s a new health risk being compared to that of cigarettes: your printer. A study has been conducted stating that printer toner cartridges can release fine dust that can cause lung problems.
The study was conducted by an Australian technology university in an open space. According to representatives at the university, “30 percent of all laser printers tested will emit dangerous particles described as causing lasted damage on the scale on inhaled cigarette smoke.” The particles can lodge themselves in the lungs and can cause numerous problems from mild lung irritation all the way to full-blown lung cancer.
“These printers could increase matter in the air by up to 400 percent.” said a representative from the university. Not all printers will emit the same number of particles and a difference will occur in the type of toner cartridge also. Professors at the university also warn that “printing graphics will release more particle matter verses printing a regular document page. The air quality will get worse as the number of printed pages increase.” During the study, a larger number of harmful particles were emitted when new toner cartridges were used.
There is hope, as printer emissions will hopefully be controlled the same way as vehicle emissions. “Use common sense when using your printer. Limit its use and keep printers in their own rooms. Do anything possible to ventilate the room.” said those involved in the study.
To read about the entire study, please visit http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/esthag/asap/html/es063049z.html.
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