Beware of the health risks of sitting next to a printer
Although this case study is arguably still early, the researchers have shown that laser printing creates a ‘rain’ of small particles, that are settled in the air and can be inhaled deep into the lungs. There is evidence to suggest that inhaling small particles of this kind for a long time can damage the liver and lungs.
Experts from the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, Queensland University of Technology, Professor Lidia Morawska, began her studies in 2007 related to rain particles caused by the printing machines.
“We found that some printers in our office space is a transmitter for heavy small particles. So we recommend these machines should be moved to a corridor where there is good ventilation,” Professor Morawska said, as quoted by ABC Australia.
As its name implies: ultrafine particles, these particles are so small that it is less than 0.1 micrometers in diameter. Aside from printing machines, other sources of ultrafine particles include vehicle exhaust, wood combustion, as well as cooking process leftovers.
Prof Morawska found that the particle emission process came when the printer toner and goes paper over the top of the roller printer that is hot. The chemicals that known volatile and is an organic compound start to be released into the air. “These compounds then react with ozone in the air and condense to form ultrafine particles. Printer temperature is the main thing. More heat, the more particles are reproduced,” explained Prof. Morawska.
In addition, the research team of Professor Morawska also showed that differences in engine models from the same manufacturer can produce very different levels of particles. So what can we do?
“Make sure the office space is well ventilated, meaning that there is an exchange with the outside air. If possible, place the printer in a well ventilated area and away from people,” Professor Morawska said.
Also, avoid standing near the printer during the printing process. People with asthma or heart disease would be better advised not to sit near a printer.