If you have a laser printer at home or work in an environment with heavy laser printer use then your health may be in danger. An Australian air quality researcher believes the tiny particles released in toner when a page is printed is just as dangerous as inhaling cigarette smoke.
Queensland University of Technology found that 17 of 62 printers were “high particle” emitters, two printers released “medium particle” emitters, six had a “low count,” and 37 released no particles at all. HP, one of the largest makers of both commercial and home printers dominated both the “high level” and “no level” emitting list of printers.
The emissions from the printers are considered to be a “significant health risk” according to Lidia Morawska of the University research team. The particles are small in size and easily inhaled into the deepest part of the lounges and the effects can range from minor irritations to serious illnesses including cardiovascular problems or cancer.
HP released at statement to PC World which reads, “HP is currently reviewing the Queensland University of Technology research on particle emission characteristics of office printers. Vigorous tests under standardized operating conditions are an integral part of HP’s research and development and its strict quality control procedures.”
Of course it is, HP, of course it is. But if it were, if it really were then we would not be having these problems and particle emissions come to light. The researchers were quick to admit that additional testing is necessary. Higher particle counts were present with the use of a new toner cartridge, when printing graphics or pictures which require more toner than text does.
If your office uses a lot of laser printers and what office doesn’t then you could very well be at risk, here’s my suggestion, hold your breathe while you are near a laser printer. I can see it now from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), “This laser printer has been approved by the FDA for both home and office use due to a low or no particle emission count, please see attached label for further information about particle counts.”