Study Warns of Health Hazards Related to Laser Printers

According to a study conducted by West Virginia University, a device as harmless as an office printer can cause serious damage to your health. While the study was conducted on animal models, their findings were also corroborated by examining a group of printer workers, and their results were final. Laser printers emanate microscopic nanoparticles that are a health hazard when inhaled.

In this article, you’ll find everything there’s to know about this study and the best recommendations for applying them in workspaces.

Bases of the Study

WVU researcher Nancy Lan Guo conducted this study by placing rat models in a confined space with a laser printer model running continuously for five hours a day for 21 straight days. During the experiment, the rats’ lungs and blood were examined and analyzed for changes every four days. After only one day of exposure, immune response and other biological processes show signs of disruption. After extended exposure (21 days), the rats’ metabolic and genetic systems completely changed.

When genetic material changes in rats and humans, cellular protein production is compromised. Protein is an essential element of the human body, and many health risks would present if the body stopped producing it. According to Guo’s findings, it could lead to neurological, cardiovascular, and metabolic dysfunction.

During the investigation, the rats’ blood metabolites were also examined. The human body has thousands of metabolites, such as glucose and oleic acid, that absorb what we eat to produce energy, among other important functions. As a result of close examination, researchers determined the rat’s metabolites had also been altered.

These abnormalities observed in model animals were caused by extended exposure to airborne particles released by office printer toners. All the changes observed in the genetic and metabolic system may increase the risk of neurological and cardiovascular diseases.

Further Research

After conducting the experiment on rats, researchers examined the genomes of printing company workers from Singapore. Workers between the ages of 20 and 30 presented the same metabolic and genetic changes as rats.

The result expresses the need for pregnant women to avoid this dangerous exposure as once a person’s genes change these alterations pass through the generations.

Laser Printer Exposure

The results of this study have determined that workspaces need to pay close attention to the rooms where printers are placed. Here are some of the best recommendations to avoid extended and hazardous exposure:

  • Particularly in offices with continuous printing needs, the devices should be placed in well-ventilated areas to reduce exposure to these hazardous particles to a minimum.
  • Promote an eco-friendly culture in your workplace that will encourage employees to reduce printer usage.
  • It’s also recommended that you choose the right location for the laser printer in your home. Choosing a location with ventilation or close to a window will dissipate these hazardous particles and prevent their inhalation.
  • Whenever it’s time to replace a toner cartridge, make sure a professional performs the task. Carelessly removing the cartridge will cause dust to emanate from the toner.

Copylite: The Place to Go for the Best Printing Solutions

While recent studies have proved the risk of laser printer exposure, many companies worldwide still rely on printing material for daily operations. It’s essential to take the necessary precautions to protect office members’ health by purchasing high-quality, tested printing supplies.

In business since 1972, Copylite has led the market as an original equipment manufacturer brand. For the best original alternatives on printing supplies, check out Copylite‘s array of top-notch quality products.