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Review of the characteristics and possible health effects of particles emitted from laser printing devices

: Gu, Jianwei; Karrasch, Stefan; Salthammer, Tunga

Fulltext ()

Indoor Air 30 (2020), No.3, pp.396-421
ISSN: 0905-6947
ISSN: 1600-0668
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer WKI ()
emission; exposure; indoor air quality; laser printer; particulate matter; risk

Many studies have shown that the use of laser printing devices (LPDs) contributes to the release of particles into the indoor environment. However, after more than two decades of research, the physicochemical properties of LPD‐emitted particles, and the possible health effects from exposure to particles are still heavily debated. We therefore carried out a critical review of the published studies around emissions and health effects of LPD‐emitted particles, aiming at elucidating the nature of these particles and their potential health risks. Realizing the varying methodologies of the studies, a classification of the reviewed studies is adopted, resulting in three categories of emission studies (chamber experiment, office/room measurement, and photocopy shop measurement), and three types of health studies (in‐vitro/animal studies, human studies in the real world, and human studies in controlled settings). The strengths and limitations of each type of study are discussed in depth, which in turn helps to understand the cause of divergent results. Overall, LPD‐emitted particles are mainly condensed or secondary‐formed semi‐volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) while solid toner particles account for a very small fraction. The health risk from exposure to LPD‐emitted particles is small compared with the health risk from exposure to ambient particles.