Sitting next to an office printer may be like sitting next to a smoker

A CBC sponsored investigation has echoed the results from an Australian study, by the Queensland University of Technology, that found breathing the air pollution created by some printers could be the same as breathing second hand smoke:

“These small particles remain airborne for much longer than the larger particles that tend to settle out, and also when you breathe them in, they tend to penetrate much deeper into your lung,” said Stephan van Eeden, an associate professor, department of internal medicine at the University of British Columbia.

“There’s also studies that some of these particles are so small that they can actually penetrate into the blood stream and affect blood vessels and the heart,” he told CBC News.

“Just per mass, the amount of small particles that you inhale if you sit anything from two to three feet from the printer is about the same as sitting next to a person that smokes.”

Suddenly becoming a secretary or network administrator – our network administrator at work sits about two feet from a massive printer – has become similar to working in a smoky bar….

3 Responses to “Sitting next to an office printer may be like sitting next to a smoker”

  1. Anne Says:

    Y a-t-il une solution? Doit-on mettre immédiatement notre imprimante à la poubelle? La placer dans une boîte scellée?


  2. sophie Says:

    Il faudrait au moins acheter une imprimante qui n’est pas parmis les plus polluantes… Mais pour cela il faudrait pouvoir savoir lesquelles sont les pires. Je ne crois pas que les fabricants vont spontanément se mettre à indiquer sur l’emballage le degré de pollution généré par leurs machines. Je ne sais pas si les auteurs de l’étude ont dressé une liste? Il reste la possibilité de demander un bureau loin de l’imprimante, si on peut…


  3. zakary Says:

    According to the Australian study many of the HP printers were not so good, although HP – of course – disagrees. It is not completely clear if they are testing both laser and ink jet printers, but I would assume that ink jet printers would be less toxic because they aren’t using high heat to cook the ink onto the paper.

    Maybe the fabled paperless office is the way to go! Until then we have a laser printer that we leave unplugged unless we are just about to print something.