Your Printer May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Was browsing the web the other day and found this article from Yahoo! Tech. It talks about a recent study done regarding the health risks caused by the fine dust particles from laser printer tone cartridges.

The study shows that 30% of the laser printers tested emit dangerous particles that can cause lasting damage in the same scale of inhaled cigarette smoke. How is this possible? It turns out that whenever you print something, not all of the printer toner attaches to the paper and the toner dust particles mix with the air we breathe. These tiny dust particles get lodged deep into our lungs and could cause lung irritation or even lead to full-on cancer.

Also, new printer cartridges emit more dust particles than the older cartridges. A document with heavy graphics produce more particles when printed compared to a plain text document. Makes sense because it uses more of the printer toner. The more toner we use, the air quality becomes worse.

Here are some ways you can minimize emission and exposure to printer toner dust particles:

  • Limit the use of printers. (only print important documents)
  • Isolate printers in a separate room away from the workplace.
  • Make sure that your office or room is well ventilated

I was alarmed when I first read this article coz I’ve never heard of it before and never realized the danger of exposure to printer toner dust particles and the health risks it causes. Most of us use our printers on a daily basis and are continually exposed to these hazardous dust particles. I wanted to share it with you guys in case you aren’t aware of this yet.

If you’re interested to know more about the study conducted with regards to this issue, the full study is now available online.

If you have any other suggestions or tips on how to minimize the emission or exposure to printer toner dust particles at home, school or in the office or if you want to share your ideas and opinions feel free to leave a comment.

[ via Yahoo! Tech ]

Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.


  1. Joe Porter

    April 4, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Perhaps inkjet printers aren’t so bad after all. Too bad they are being banned in the workplace because they are considered to be a rip-off and being replaced with cheaper but toxic laser ones.

  2. JP Habaradas

    August 21, 2007 at 12:44 PM

    @J David – Make sure you have a good lawyer. Hehe :D

  3. J David

    August 20, 2007 at 11:20 PM

    That’s it. I am suing somebody…

  4. JP Habaradas

    August 20, 2007 at 12:43 PM

    @dimaks – Yup and to think that we’ve been exposed to these things for many years now. Next time I print something, I’ll go out of the room the moment I click on the print button. :D

  5. dimaks

    August 20, 2007 at 8:50 AM

    yikes.. so sitting beside those printers is a bad idea. and also, standing beside them while waiting for your print out to come out of the tray.

  6. JP Habaradas

    August 20, 2007 at 2:00 AM

    @jhay – Yeah, most of the time those factory workers get the worst part of the deal. Not only do they get paid very low wages but they also are the victims of the effects of this hazardous chemicals and other stuff.

  7. jhay

    August 20, 2007 at 12:10 AM

    Read about this a few months back, don’t know why I didn’t blogged about this.

    Workers in printer factories have the worse of it. Especially the ones who make those laser-jet, and ink-jet print cartridges.

    I knew something was not right with all those printed pages smelling a lot like those printed from copier machines. :roll:

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