Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Health Costs of Sitting Next to the Printer

If you sit next to a printer (or copy machine) at work, you might want to print out Some top laser printers called office polluters (but don't stand by the printer while printing) and show it to your boss to request a seating change.

It turns out that sitting next to a laser printer means you are subject to the same amount of particulate matter as you would be sitting next to a smoker. Are the particles as bad? Well, breathing small particles causes respiratory irritation, and can cause cancer. It's not a good idea. The toner (powder) seems to be the problem.

Here's a pdf of the complete survey. Check out page 4 for the specific printers. I see that my printer (HP 1300 series) is on the high emitter list. I don't actually print very much, you can bet I'm not going to sit next to the printer next time I'm printing.