*NEWS*OEM PRINTERS CAN DAMAGE THE LUNGS

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*NEWS*OEM PRINTERS CAN DAMAGE THE LUNGS

 user 2007-07-31 at 1:22:00 pm Views: 39
  • #18499

    Office printers can damage the lungs, says research
    July 
    2007 — Workers face a potential health threat from office laser
    printers that emit large amounts of tiny particles into the air, an
    Australian research team has found.Potential effects range from
    respiratory irritation to effects on the cardiovascular system and
    cancer, says author Professor Lidia Morawska from the Queensland
    University of Technology.The researchers do not know the chemical
    makeup of the particles and how they are released. But they recommend
    good office ventilation to minimise the chances of particles entering
    the airways.Morawska and colleagues will publish their results online
    later this week in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental
    Science & Technology.The researchers classified 17 of the 62
    printers as “high particle emitters.”And Morawska says one printer
    released particles, under experimental conditions, at a rate comparable
    to the particle emissions from cigarette smoking.

    But 37 of the printers were non-emitters.
    The
    study found printers emitted more particles when the toner cartridge
    was new and when printing images and graphics, as these require greater
    amounts of toner.Morawska, who is the director of the International
    Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, says when inhaled the ultrafine
    particles can travel to the deepest parts of the respiratory tract and
    then enter the bloodstream.The potential health problems range from
    increased respiratory irritation to effects on the cardiovascular
    system and cancer, she says.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 researchers
    tested a large open-plan office in the Brisbane central business
    district, surrounded by busy roads and about 400 feet from a
    freeway.”We really didn’t expect to find anything from indoor sources
    [but] we soon discovered that the indoor sources of pollution were far
    higher than the outdoor sources,” she says.The study shows average
    particle concentration inside the test office was five times higher
    during working hours than non-working hours.And at its highest levels,
    indoor particle concentration was about three times higher than it was
    outside.Morawska said in offices with poor ventilation higher
    concentrations of particles can “prevail for the whole day.”She says
    the health risks will be “quite high” for workers that “sit in an
    office like this for days and months.”Her research team is calling on
    governments to consider regulating emission levels from laser
    printers.But Morawska says more research is needed into the chemical
    makeup of the emissions and how the particles are released to back any
    such move.Her paper includes a list of the brands and models studied
    and their rating by amount of particles emitted.A total of 12 models of
    Hewlett Packard printers and one Toshiba printer are listed as high
    emitters of tiny particles.