|Laser Printer Particle Emissions|
|Thursday, 02 August 2007 08:27|
A study that will appear in Environmental Science & Technology has spurred news headlines of the dangers of particle emissions from office laser printers. Congroug He, Lidia Morawska, and Len Taplin set out to explore the relationship between office and outdoor air in terms of fine-scale particulates, the sort that tends to penetrate deep into the lungs. Must to their dismay, there wasn’t any relationship. They did discover that particulates in the office were lower during off hours but rapidly increased 500% while the office was occupied. After eliminating the microwave and photocopier they ultimately fingered the office laser printer as the culprit. The discovery led them to test the 62 laser printers available to them and rank them into four category based on particle emissions. I noticed the age of the toner had an influence on both amounts of particulates produced and their average size. Page coverage played an important role as well, as the jump between a print that covered five percent of a page to one that covered fifty percent roughly doubled emissions. In laymen’s terms, it’s much worse if you print graphics.
I personally use Okidata laser printers. As they were not listed in the report, I phoned to see if they had anything to say. They seemed aware of the report, as I believe the lady I was speaking with was been coached what to say. I was told I could examine the safety card that came with my printer.
Perhaps this study will prompt manufactures to start testing there printers and labeling the emission level. I’ve included the table from the paper below.
a Possible high emitter.
a Printer ID: A = HP LaserJet 5M, B = HP LaserJet 1020, C = HP LaserJet 1320n.b NE: no emission rate.
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