Laser printer ink is not as harmful as cigarettes

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Laser printer ink is not as harmful as cigarettes

You no longer need to go to work wearing a gas mask as research released this week shows that laser printer toner is not harmful.

Back in 2007 study from Queensland University of Technology in Australia suggested that breathing toner particles from printers could be as harmful to the lungs as cigarette smoke.

However, those researchers alongside some from Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute in Germany have now decided that there is no evidence to support this outrageous claim.

After examining the chemicals released from laser printers the researchers found that the chemicals weren’t as harmful as once predicted.

The researchers determined that such airborne materials include paraffins and silicon oils that evaporate when a printer's fixing unit reaches temperatures as high as 428 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius).

Tunga Salthammer, a professor who worked on the study said, "One essential property of these ultra-fine particles is their volatility, which indicates that we are not looking at toner dust."

The Environmental Protection Agency said that volatile organic compounds are a major source of pollution indoors, where they are found in the air at levels up to 10 times higher than outdoors.

The study did not describe however whether breathing in the ultra-fine chemicals could affect human health.

The study found that these volatile substances are also found from using other household appliances such as toasters and cookers.

Printer makers belonging to the German Association for Information Technology partly funded the research.
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