*NEWS* HP DENIES PRINTER DUST DANGER

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*NEWS* HP DENIES PRINTER DUST DANGER

 user 2007-08-08 at 11:48:00 am Views: 77
  • #18557

    Surprise! HP Denies Laser Printer Dust Danger
    On
    Wednesday, we covered a new study from Australian scientists which
    claimed that laser printers could emit dangerous micro particles,
    possibly causing health problems, including cancer.The results are in,
    and the published paper is now online. Tests were carried out both in a
    normal Brisbane office building and back at the lab in a filtered,
    particle free chamber. And Hewlett Packard feature big on the league
    table, taking 12 of the 13 spots for high level emissions, against one
    for Toshiba (the Studio 450).HP, not surprisingly, weren’t to happy
    about this. Today I received an email from Rob McMurtrie of PR firm
    Porter Novelli, which included a statement form Tuan Tran, HP’s vice
    president of marketing for supplies (you can read the whole statement
    at the end of this post).”There are no indications that ultrafine
    particle (UFP) emissions from laser printing systems are associated
    with special health risks,” says Tran, “[...] many of the UFPs found in
    common household and office products are not discrete solid particles,
    but may be condensation products or small droplets created during
    thermal processes”.This sounds like doublespeak. Sure, the particles
    may not be particles, but this kind of fluff seems aimed at pacifying
    the public. McMurtie also sent me a link to a post on correlation and
    causality in scientific research, which is entertaining and makes a
    good point.Professor Lidia Morawska, in charge of the study, admits
    that “further investigation should be conducted for this phenomena”,
    with which we agree. In the meantime, don’t sit too close to the
    printer.

        After a preliminary review of the Queensland
    University of Technology research on particle emission characteristics
    of office printers, HP does not agree with its conclusion or some of
    the bold claims the authors have made recently in press reports.HP
    stands behind the safety of its products. Testing of ultrafine
    particles is a very new scientific discipline. There are no indications
    that ultrafine particle (UFP) emissions from laser printing systems are
    associated with special health risks. Currently, the nature and
    chemical composition of such particles – whether from a laser printer
    or from a toaster – cannot be accurately characterized by analytical
    technology. However, many experts believe that many of the UFPs found
    in common household and office products are not discrete solid
    particles, but may be condensation products or small droplets created
    during thermal processes.HP agrees more testing in this area is needed,
    which is why we’ve been active with two of the world’s leading
    independent authorities on this subject: Air Quality Sciences in the
    United States and the Wilhelm-Klauditz Institute in Germany. Vigorous
    tests are an integral part of HP’s research and development and its
    strict quality-control procedures. HP LaserJet printing systems,
    original HP print cartridges and papers are tested for dust release and
    possible material emissions and are compliant with all applicable
    international health and safety requirements. In addition to meeting or
    exceeding these guidelines, HP’s design criteria for its laser printing
    systems incorporate guidelines from both the Blue Angel program in
    Germany and the Greenguard program in the United States.Based on our
    own testing, HP knows that many variables can affect the outcome of
    tests for ultrafine particle emissions. Although HP is not aware of all
    of the specific methodologies used in the Queensland study, based on
    what we’ve seen in the report – as well as our own work in this area –
    we do not believe there is a link between printer emissions and any
    public health risk. Specifically, HP does not see an association
    between printer use by customers and negative health effects for
    volatile organic compounds, ozone or dust. While we recognize
    ultrafine, fine, and coarse particles are emitted from printing
    systems, these levels are consistently below recognized occupational
    exposure limits.HP hopes to learn more from the study authors about how
    products were chosen for the study, how ranges were determined given no
    standards exist, and many other factors that could have influenced the
    results.