August 1st, 2007, 08:16 PM
Laser Printer Ban?
Well, we have smoking bans in the workplace.........how about laser printers next?
July 31, 2007 (Computerworld)
-- Some home and office laser printers pose serious health risks and may spew out as much particulate matter as a cigarette smoker inhales, an Australian air quality researcher said today.
The study, set to appear tomorrow in the online edition of the American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology
(ES&T) journal, measured particulate output of 62 laser printers, including models from name brands such as Canon
. Particle emissions, believed to be toner -- the finely-ground powder used to form images and characters on paper -- were measured in an open office floor plan, then ranked.
Lidia Morawska and colleagues at the Queensland University of Technology
, classified 17 of the 62 printers, or 27%, as "high particle emitters"; one of the 17 pumped out particulates at a rate comparable with emissions from cigarette smoking, the study said.
Two printers released medium levels of particulates, six issued low levels, and 37 -- or about 60% of those tested -- released no particles at all.
Morawska called the emissions "a significant health threat" because of the particles' small size, which makes them easy to inhale and easily lodged in the deepest and smallest passageways of the lungs. The effects, she said, can range from simple irritation to much more serious illnesses, including cardiovascular problems or cancer. "Even very small concentrations can be related to health hazards," said Morawska. "Where the concentrations are significantly elevated means there is potentially a considerable hazard."
The research also found that office particulate levels increased fivefold during work hours because of laser printers. Generally, more particles were emitted when the printer was using a new toner cartridge, and when printing graphics or photographs that require larger amounts of toner than, say, text.
Morawska recommended that people make sure rooms at work and home with laser printers are well ventilated.
Specific printer results were not released today, but will be listed in the published study when it goes live tomorrow on the ES&T site
August 1st, 2007, 08:47 PM
HP and Canon better brace themselves...you remember what happened to big tobacco over here. I can just see the masses of office workers screaming about "second hand toner exposure"!
Windows 9x: n.
A collection of 32 bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprocessor. Written by a 2 bit company that can\'t stand 1 bit of competition.
August 1st, 2007, 08:49 PM
Everything is going to kill you given enough time.
BTW have you meet my laser printer salesman
August 1st, 2007, 10:02 PM
Well this is HP:
HP LaserJet and HP Color LaserJet Series Printers - Information about Ozone Emissions
As laser printing has become more popular, HP Color LaserJet and LaserJet series printer emissions have raised concern. Much of the information (or lack of information) has caused undue alarm about the use of these products. Emissions from these printers are below the standard levels established by various regulatory agencies and standard-setting organizations. The following information addresses the issues surrounding ozone and provides a better understanding of what ozone is, its effects, how it is measured and what can be done to control it.
- NOTE: The HP LaserJet IIP, IIP Plus, and IIIP series printers generate ozone emissions far below 0.1 parts per million while printing. The HP LaserJet IIISi, 4, and 4M series printers do not emit ozone at any time. The reason is that none of these printers have corona wires.
Sources of ozone
Ozone is a pure oxygen molecule containing three atoms of oxygen instead of two. Ozone is present in the air, but the highest concentration is found in the earth's upper atmosphere. Ultraviolet radiation creates the primary source of ozone. Other sources of ozone are created by electrical discharges and are what people detect when they say they "smell electricity." Some people sense this smell near electric motors, high voltage lines, or after lightning storms.
The ozone generated by some laser printers and photocopiers is a by-product of the electro-photographic process and is generated when the corona assemblies place charges onto photo-conductive materials. In the case of HP Color LaserJet and LaserJet series printers, this ozone is generated only while printing (while the coronas are energized). No ozone is generated when the HP LaserJet series printer is in standby mode.
Effects of ozone
The ability to detect the odor of ozone varies greatly among people. Likewise, the sensitivity of people to ozone is different. Ozone can cause eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation. It can also cause headaches and dryness of the eyes, nose, and throat. The smell of ozone in low concentrations is often described as sweet. In higher concentrations, however, it is more pungent. Most people are not affected by ozone emissions from a laser printer.
The ozone generated by laser printers has a very short life span and decomposes back to oxygen very rapidly. In the average office, ozone concentrations usually will not last longer than a few minutes.
Air emissions and regulations
HP characterizes the ozone emissions from all printer platforms to commercial release of the products. These systems are tested by printing on multipurpose paper in controlled environmental chambers, and the ozone emission rates are directly determined. These rates are subsequently used to calculate the concentration of ozone expected in an office environment with low air ventilation, but with a high printing rate.
These ozone concentrations are then compared to worldwide occupational exposure limits, as well as more stringent indoor air quality guidelines. Specifically, the US OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit of 0.2 milligrams per cubic meter, and the GREENGUARD ecolabel criteria of 0.02 mg/m3 are referenced. In considering ozone concentrations in the "default" office scenario mentioned above, the few older printer models (and the HP Color LaserJet 8500 series printer) with required filters are well below the PEL, and the newer printer models generally yield non-detectable results.
The issue of Ozone is known and appears to be under control. The new issue is exactly how much particulate contamination is taking place.
It took a very long time for the potential danger of "secondary smoking" to be accepted?
Last edited by nihil; August 1st, 2007 at 10:05 PM.
August 2nd, 2007, 06:42 PM
Everything is pollution. I have a theory that will propel
It took a very long time for the potential danger of "secondary smoking" to be accepted?
me to my goal of being master of the known universe <maniacal laughter>
</maniacal laughter>. I believe there is a "force" in the universe (star wars).
When people have evil thoughts, it pollutes the force and harms other people.
Obviously, we must stop these antisocial malcontents from polluting the force
with their unauthorized thoughts. Also, people with nose rings, skateboards,
and loud guitar amps, all gotta go...
Anybody want a job with the rcgreen brownshirtz, good pay and benefits.
I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.
August 2nd, 2007, 07:02 PM
August 3rd, 2007, 01:47 PM
This will be an issue because the products are predominantly in the workplace. Someone is looking to get workmens compensation. I can see the secretary that files for it now. A 3 pack a day smoker who lives in a polluted major city, suing her company for the lung cancer she received from copying and printing.
"Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot
August 4th, 2007, 05:35 PM
HP's response is here, also you can download a PDF of the report:
August 4th, 2007, 08:24 PM
so where do we sign up for the class action lawsuit? *feeble-cough*
August 4th, 2007, 08:44 PM
Just look at workers' compensation claims for mining, quarrying and asbestos............. it took a long time to even get the concept accepted.
All that has been "discovered" so far is that some of these machines spew out particles.......... OK, it is a hell of a long way down the cause and effect chain before you can establish that they have caused anyone any real harm.
Realistically speaking all I would do is ensure that replacement devices were in the minimal or zero category. The cat is out of the bag so now is the time to CYA or potentially face a reckless indifference charge?
Someone in my age group wouldn't stand a chance of claiming; we have lived through the time when smoking in public places was allowed, automobile emissions were not regulated and so on.
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