Printers and copiers may emit VOCs.

Large-scale laser printers are a common sight in office buildings across North America – but their emissions may be putting employees at risk.

A 2008 study on laser printer emissions by the German research company Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft measured numerous pollutants that were emitted during laser printing, including

In an Australian 2007 study, 17 out of 62 laser printers were “high particle emitters” because they released such elevated quantities of particles, which the researchers believe to be toner, the ultra fine powder used in laser printers instead of ink to form text and images. One of the printers released particles into an experimental chamber at a rate comparable to the particle emissions from cigarette smoking, the report stated.

The ozone emitted by laser printers is a concern because it can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs.

When toner cartridges are new, they are emitting more particles than when they are old.Tiny particles have been shown to penetrate deep into the lungs, where they can cause permanent damage.

Other printers that do not use toner but some other form of high heat printing mechanism were also found to emit certain types of chemicals.

The researchers concluded that office laser printers contributed to high levels of indoor air pollution in certain office buildings, especially when they were used in unventilated spaces.

PrintSafe for a cleaner office environment

Electrocorp's PrintSafe air cleaner


Electrocorp realizes large office printers can lead to poor indoor air quality and has designed a number of industrial-strength air cleaners for the office.

One of the specialized air cleaners for office printers is the PrintSafe, which features a custom-built intake hood that covers the exhaust outlet of the printer and draws the air through a deep-bed activated carbon filter as well as a HEPA filter to remove a wide range of VOCs, chemicals, particles and odors.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.