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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Apr-14, 10:41 AM
Yesterday day I was standing by an HP printer that was in the middle of a big job. I noticed that my chest became really tight and I had difficulty breathing. I have experienced this before near these printers and am wondering if anyone with OHS knowledge knows what might be causing my reaction to the fumes? We have had air testing done in our office, (particulate I guess) and everything was found to be within normal levels.

Antilles
2005-Apr-14, 10:45 AM
Never happened to me, as far as I can recall.

kucharek
2005-Apr-14, 10:54 AM
Laser printers produce Ozone, but have normally filters to reduce it. Maybe this is somewhat broken with your printer.

On this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropospheric_Ozone) Wikipedia page, it is said, that "Ozone can irritate the respiratory system, causing coughing, throat irritation, and/or an uncomfortable sensation in the chest.

Ozone can reduce lung function and make it more difficult to breathe deeply and vigorously. Breathing may become more rapid and shallow than normal. This may limit a person's ability to engage in vigorous activities.

Ozone can aggravate asthma. When ozone levels are high, more people with asthma have attacks that require a doctor's attention or use of medication. One reason this happens is that ozone makes people more sensitive to allergens, the most common triggers of asthma attacks."

Ozone vanishes quickly, so if you check the air later, you'll find nothing.

Harald

Moose
2005-Apr-14, 11:17 AM
Yesterday day I was standing by an HP printer that was in the middle of a big job. I noticed that my chest became really tight and I had difficulty breathing. I have experienced this before near these printers and am wondering if anyone with OHS knowledge knows what might be causing my reaction to the fumes? We have had air testing done in our office, (particulate I guess) and everything was found to be within normal levels.

Yup. Two or three times a year, my office handles bulk jobs of communications (10,000 to 15,000 documents, which we can output in two or three working days.)

Air quality definitely becomes an issue during that time, and you're experiencing what most of us seem to while I'm baking toner cartridges. We have a few people who schedule a few days of vacation time while we're printing these jobs.

captain swoop
2005-Apr-14, 12:16 PM
Laser printers should have the ozone filter replaced according to the service period for the model. In addition they use static electricity to produce the image and transfer the toner from drum to paper, Any air coming from the cooling fan may be carrying a charge, in addition it is warm and dry, maybe that 's what's effecting you.

zebo-the-fat
2005-Apr-14, 01:53 PM
Just to confirm what others have said, laser printers (and photocopiers) produce ozone. This is normaly removed by either carbon or catalytic filters. The carbon filters should be replaced when the machine is serviced, the catalytic type normaly last for the life of the machine.

dvb
2005-Apr-14, 02:00 PM
Wow, I never knew any of this. Bought myself a laser printer, because most of what I print is documents anyways, and I didn't want to pay for expensive ink cartridges.

Evan
2005-Apr-14, 04:15 PM
Yep, ozone. I worked for Xerox for 23 years. If the ozone filter gets plugged with toner and/or dust then the machine can emit a lot of ozone. If possible open a door or window.

The ozone is produce by very high voltage used in the process. The process uses a corona discharge system to create high electrostatic charges on the photoreceptor hence the production of ozone. This applies to any machine based on the xerographic process including printers, faxes and copiers.

jnik
2005-Apr-14, 04:52 PM
Laser printers can also spray toner about. Normally it's filtered, but I worked in an office once that had a secondhand printer which slowly "painted" the wall behind it. You didn't want to be anywhere near that thing while it printed.

captain swoop
2005-Apr-15, 08:23 AM
Toner is carcinogenic. If it's getting out of the machine get it serviced.
Also never wash it off hands with hot water, it will adhere to you.