Apart from making a lot of noise and breaking down constantly, laser printers have been a blessing to office workers since their conception almost two decades ago. Unfortunately, new findings show their usage may have some harmful effects on us productivity slaves.
According to a team of researchers from Queensland University of Technology, laser printers could be as harmful as cigarettes to those working around them. It seems that active, laser printing devices emit ink particles in the air, and could be harmful if inhaled.
“Ultra-fine particles are of most concern because they can penetrate deep into the lungs, where they can pose a significant health threat,” said Professor Morawska of Queensland University of Technology. “These [printer] particles are tiny like cigarette smoke particles, and when deep inside the lung, they do the same amount of damage.”
She went on to say that the health effects from inhaling the particles can ” depend on particle composition, but the results can range from respiratory irritation to more severe illness such as cardiovascular problems or cancer.”
Personally, this study really came as a shock since I’m working in a closed office with two highly utilized departmental printers. I’m not exactly sure if I should be feeling concerned about the situation. What are your thoughts?