Will companies soon relegate laser printers to the balcony in order to protect office workers from the harmful results of second-hand printing? Probably not, although a new study has shown that office printers could be as harmful as smoking.
The study, carried out by the Queensland University of Technology, found that about 30% of laser printers emit potentially dangerous levels of fine toner dust which users then breathe in.
Because they're so fine, these particles act just like cigarette smoke and lodge inside the lungs.
The University studied 62 machines, of which 17 emitted high levels of toner dust.
Emissions were higher during the working day, when cartidges are new, and when graphics pr images are being printed.