Are laser printers dangerous?

It seems so.

A team of researchers in Brisbane have found that some laser printers emit small particles into the air.

Potential effects range from respiratory irritation to effects on the cardiovascular system and cancer, Professor Lidia Morawska from the Queensland University of Technology says.

Professor Morawska, who is the director of the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, says when inhaled, the ultra-fine particles can travel to the deepest parts of the respiratory tract and then enter the bloodstream.

Strangely enough the team was not testing for laser printer emissions.

Professor Morawska says the findings were made by chance while her team was investigating the efficiency of ventilation in protecting office workers from outdoor pollution.

The report will be released later in the week in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology and will list the 62 printers by make and model.  The list seems to include popular printer manufacturers, Hewlett Packard & Toshiba.

2 thoughts on “Are laser printers dangerous?

  1. Yikes! If you operate a “printing dept” (like a school or uni) this would be very worrying news.

    It’s long been known that they emit ozone, but I wonder what sort of ‘particles’? – presumably from the toner, which is unbelievably fine stuff to begin with.

    Is Toshiba a ‘popular’ printer maker ? – I didn’t even know they made printers!

  2. Is it possible to create a disposable bag that will contain the emitted particles from the printer toner?. And to have a way of disposing them without posing any harmful effect to users.

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