Laser printers have always been the first choice for mid-sized and large businesses, but as their prices are declining they are becoming more popular among home users and small businesses. However, some recent studies have raised concerns about the bad effects of using a laser printer on human health. This has led to a new wave of debate among printer buyers and this time it’s not about price and performance, but health and safety.
Therefore, in this article, we have decided to give you all the relevant and genuine information regarding the health hazards you might encounter due to emissions from a laser printer. Read this article carefully because the information given below will help you in clearing all the doubts related to the harmful effects of laser printer on human health.
Is a laser printer harmful for your health?
Before getting into the findings of the studies done on laser printer emissions we should first understand what the emissions are which seem to be the cause of this concern. We all know that laser printer uses toner filled cartridges for printing, this toner is made up of tiny particles. These particles are as small as nano-particles, which means your eyes won’t be able to spot them if you see them separately. We also know that printer toner is hard to remove once it stains your clothes or sticks to your hands. After all this is the purpose of the printer toner, to stay permanently on the surface it’s applied upon.
Now, the study conducted by the West Virginia University suggest that this printer toner can have harmful effects on human health. The findings of this study claim that while printing some of these nano-sized toner particles tend to get loose in the air. Then in the absence of proper ventilation these particles may spread in the room and can enter the lungs of the people nearby through their breath. After entering their body these particles can disrupt how cells make protein. Eventually, it can disturb the activity of genes related to the immune response, metabolism and other biological processes.
In another study done by the Queensland University of Technology, Australia it was found that when the paper and printer toner pass over the hot printer roller some volatile organic compounds are emitted into the air. After reacting with the ozone in the air these compounds condense into ultra-fine particles. Researchers also found that when the printer temperature was higher, then more particles were produced. Therefore, the amount of particles produced were different for each printer model. Research shows that the effect of these particles on human lungs is the same as that of smoking a cigarette.
Both the studies discussed above have been conducted by reputed universities and they reveal some serious health hazards that laser printer users may encounter on prolonged exposure to these machines. Does this mean you should drop the idea of buying a new laser printer or start thinking of disposing off the one you presently own? Absolutely not! The news is not all bad, the same studies suggest some precautions that you must take which can greatly reduce the harmful effects of using a laser printers.
Precautions to reduce the harmful effects of laser printer
Experts suggest that some caution must be taken while operating a laser printer. The primary objective of these precautions is to reduce the exposure to these nano-particles emitted by the laser printers.
Keep your laser printer in a location that has good ventilation with the air from outside. If there are multiple laser printers in an office, then the laser printer that is used more frequently should be kept in the area where there is better ventilation. Doing this will ensure that the emitted particles will get disposed the moment they are created.
Avoid standing near the laser printer when it’s printing. Users who are suffering from diseases like asthma or some other heart or lung ailments, should never sit near busy laser printers.
If you were bothered by the question that is a laser printer harmful for your health, then this article must have helped you. You can clearly see that although laser printers emit particles which are harmful for human health, but you can easily avoid their ill effects by taking some simple precautions.