Laser printers affect air quality in work rooms

A laser printer is standard equipment in most offices. Printing is quick and the cost per page is comparatively low. However, there are always warnings that laser printers can adversely affect indoor air hygiene by emitting pollutants. "This problem concerns companies as well as printer manufacturers. Employers and employees attach great importance to healthy working conditions," explains Stefan Kischka, Vice President Electrical TÜV Rheinland. Manufacturers stay seated on their devices if they are suspected of causing illness. Even in tenders from authorities and offices, often only those devices are used that can prove their favorable emission characteristics by means of test marks.

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For several years, TÜV Rheinland has been dealing with emission measurement and assessment for printing systems. This is based on criteria that were developed in cooperation with the Federal Environment Agency for the environmental label "The Blue Angel". In order to receive the test mark, the printing or copying system must successfully go through a multi-stage process. Here the toner powder is examined for harmful substances. In the second test stage, the experts check which pollutants are released into the room air during the printing process. Certification is only successful if the printing system passes all tests.

"In order to do justice to the increased sensitivity to the issue of indoor air quality, we also check the toner powder used for additional carcinogenic, gene-changing or reproductive-endangering substances during our pollutant analysis," explains the TÜV Rheinland expert. Printer cartridges that pass the certification receive the TÜV Rheinland test mark with the keywords "pollutant tested" and "emissions tested". "These test marks show the end user that the guide values for indoor air or - with the specified safety margin - are below the threshold values for the concentrations permitted in workplaces," adds Stefan Kischka.

Source: OTS: TÜV Rheinland AG newsroom