Are Printers Hazardous To Your Health? - InformationWeek

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7/31/2007
02:24 PM
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Are Printers Hazardous To Your Health?

OK, now you have another reason to stay away from the office: According to the Queensland University of Technology, laser printers can be hazardous to your health.

OK, now you have another reason to stay away from the office: According to the Queensland University of Technology, laser printers can be hazardous to your health.Apparently, ultra-fine particles from laser toner -- especially from new cartridges -- are capable of finding their way into your lungs and causing the same type of havoc as inhaled cigarette smoke. This is actually not hard for me to believe -- I've changed enough toner cartridges throughout the years to believe that, if the toner can dust my clothes and fingers, it can certainly find its way into my air passages.

However, whether your particular printer is going to add to your chances of losing your lungs depends on a lot of factors, including the model, age, cartridge model and cartridge age, and whether your boss has hired somebody to clean out your vents lately (the report advised that offices be well-ventilated as a safety measure). So just count this as yet another way modern living is trying to get the best of you, and don't breathe too deeply when you're printing out those brochures.

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