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Author Topic: Some laser printers are as danagerous as cigarette smoking...  (Read 4242 times)
cthorpe
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« on: August 02, 2007, 02:32:49 AM »



A group of researchers have concluded that some laser printers emit dangerous particles when used.  These particles are similar to those that are found in cigarette smoke.  One printer tested actually releases particles at a level similar to what you would get by actually smoking, so it would seem that laser printers may be as hazardous to your health.  There is a post about the study on CyberNet News at http://tech.cybernetnews....mful-as-cigarette-smoking, and it was initially reported by VNUNet.com (http://www.vnunet.com/vnu...printers-seriously-damage).

Of the 62 printers tested, only 17 emitted particles that may be hazardous to your health.  The article was published by the American Chemical Society, and is not publically accessible at this time.  If you can access their online article repository, you can read the whole thing (see the article citation at the end of this post).  The university that my wife attends has a subscription, so I was able to read the study.  Most of the article is pretty hard to follow, but here is the list of tested printers and the results:

No emissions

  • HP
    • Color LaserJet 450DN and 8500DN
    • LaserJet 2200DN, 2300dtn, 4 plus, 4000N, 4000TN, 4050N, 4050TN, 4si, 5(b), 5000n, 5100tn, 5N, 5si, 5si/NX, 8000DN, 8150DN
  • Mita
    • DC 4060
  • RICOH
    • Afico 2022, 3045, 3245C, CC3000DN
  • Toshiba
    • Studio 350

Low level emissions

  • Canon
    • IRC6800
  • HP
    • LaserJet 5M and 9000dn
  • Ricoh
    • CL3000DN

Mid-range emissions

  • HP
    • LaserJet 1020 and 4200dtn

High emissions

  • HP
    • Color LaserJet 4650dn, 5550dtn, 8550N
    • LaserJet 1320N, 1320n, 2420dn, 4200dtn (possible), 4250, 5(a), 8000DN (possible), and 8150N   
  • Toshiba
    • Studio 450

Of the high emission printers, the HP LaserJet 1320N is the worst with emissions close to cigarette smoking.

(all data from  He, C., Morawska, L., and Taplin, L. "Particle Emission Characteristics of Office Printers." Environ. Sci. Technol., 2007,  10.1021/es063049z)

« Last Edit: August 02, 2007, 03:06:33 AM by cthorpe » Logged
tomos
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007, 02:41:53 AM »

nothing from brother included there, that could be good or bad..

someone was telling me they saw a programme on the tele here about it.
They were saying it was very bad to sleep in the same room as a laser printer -
presumably one that emits these dodgy particles..
..which made me wonder are they even dodgy if you dont use them much  tellme
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Tom
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2007, 02:43:37 AM »

Quote
which made me wonder are they even dodgy if you dont use them much
good question. id like to know that answer too.
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007, 02:55:33 AM »

ps. the original article was first described here and then picked up by cybernet: http://www.vnunet.com/vnu...printers-seriously-damage
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tomos
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2007, 03:25:36 AM »

Quote
which made me wonder are they even dodgy if you dont use them much
good question. id like to know that answer too.

from the vnunet article
The study found that indoor particle levels in the office air increased fivefold during work hours due to printer use. Printers emitted more particles when operating with new toner cartridges and when printing graphics and images that require greater quantities of toner.
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Tom
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2007, 04:36:53 AM »

My desk is about 1.5 feet away from an HP 1320N.  Cry

However, I don't read anything about the harmfullness of the particles compared to cigarette smoke (cancer etc), just that it emits a similar amount of them.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2007, 04:58:41 AM by justice » Logged

PhilB66
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007, 04:42:11 AM »

Research Paper at http://cdn.sfgate.com/chr.../01/printer_es063049z.pdf (pdf file)
Environmental Science & Technology Online Link: http://pubs.acs.org/subsc.../science/nl_printers.html

One could always make music with HP Scanjet  cheesy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHcV8vZ96OM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8W2AxXfbvM
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Nod5
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007, 11:17:24 AM »

This was unpleasant news indeed!

They were saying it was very bad to sleep in the same room as a laser printer -
I've been doing that for years...   ohmy

..which made me wonder are they even dodgy if you dont use them much  tellme
Good question. I suspect the particles are released when the printer is used. But how long they then stay in the air in the room is another question.

Another thing I'm curious about: does the type and brand of toner makes a noticeable difference here (for the same printer)? Cheap, alternative toners from 3rd party no-name manufacturers are pretty common. When it comes to ink catridges I usually go with the 3rd party brand for my personal usage. It's usually about half the cost and I have a hard time finding any real differences in printing quality. I've had pretty much the same approach when it comes to laser toner but but this new particle risk scenario may change my mind about that...
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 11:25:11 AM by Nod5 » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 04:17:58 PM »

it's a great point about 3rdparty toner vs. name brand toner, nod5.

let's also not dismiss the possibility that 3rd party toner could be less harmfull than the name brand..
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