Personal Health

How dangerous is the printer?

Respiratory complaints due to toner dust, no occupational disease, decided by the Hessian social court in Darmstadt. “According to scientific knowledge, it is not expected that toner particles or laser printer emissions are generally suitable to cause human injury, damage to Health”, – stated in the reasoning of the judge.

In the specific case concerned a 63-Year-old who had worked for four years in a copy shop. He every day copied in a 30 square meters large space between 5000 and 10,000 sheet and printed. He had been in considerable amounts of toner dust, which would have made him sick, said the man. He wanted to let his respiratory complaints, therefore, as an occupational disease to recognize.

Only in individual cases, harmful

The competent accident insurance rejected the request, however. It was not proven that the printer had caused the health problems. The man then pulled in front of the court – without success.

The judges argued that the 63-Year-old had already suffered prior to his work in the print room of hay fever and Asthma. Toner dust can contain allergic substances. It was not, however, demonstrated the degree to which the man of these substances are exposed to. This is also not possible to know, because his former job was now changed.

According to current scientific knowledge, emissions from toners and laser printers, no General damage to Health, the court stated. In each case, the emissions could be harmful. However, the recognition of such damages would require a Test where an allergic reaction will be detected. To do this, the man had not been ready.

According to the Federal Institute for work protection and work medicine, the emissions of laser printers and copiers are well below the valid limits. Allergies to Toner are very rare. Epidemiological studies have so far not provided any proof that the dust from the toners could trigger a chronic respiratory disease or lung cancer. Nevertheless, experts, printer and copier rates to be set up in a well-ventilated room. A device is used very frequently, it should be in a separate room.