Laser printers are as safe as toasters according to German scientists
In laser Printers, a laser “draws” an electrostatic image on a drum to which toner powder – the powdered ink found in printer cartridges – is attracted. The drum distributes the toner from the printer cartridges on the Paper and fuser rollers melt the toner which fuses with the Paper fibres. Various researchers have been theorising that laser printers might be emitting clouds of tiny toner particles, which would be highly toxic if inhaled. Some have even suggested that having a laser printer in the room with you is as dangerous as passive smoking. Should we worry about the toner found in printer cartridges?
No longer. You can continue buying printer cartridges in the knowledge that printer cartridges are not bad for your health. Scientists from Germany’s renowned Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute in Braunschweig have concluded the idea that laser printers emit deadly toxic clouds of toner particles is misleading and ultimately rubbish. Laser printers do emit small amounts of volatile organic chemicals from their printer cartridges, but so do toasters.
Says WKI Professor Tunga Salthammer, “Some printers do emit ultra-fine particles made of volatile organic-chemical substances. But one essential property of these ultra-fine particles is their volatility, which indicates that we are not looking at toner dust.”
For this reason you needn’t bother buying a special filter to remove offending particles emitted by laser printers. According to the Fraunhofer statement, “As the ultra-fine particles are not emitted from a specific part of the printer, but also from the Paper output, for instance, a filter can only have a limited effect.”