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Old 05-13-2004, 09:50 AM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
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How dangerous is printer toner?

Well it can make nasty mess but will it give you the big C?

What's up is that the main printer in our office is playing up, the print fades to nothing halfway through a page. Now we know that by vigorously shaking the toner cartridge it's possible to fix the problem albeit temporarily. But some-one reckons that the toner dust that gets spread around is carcinogenic. Personally I doubt that, it's probably less dangerous than monitor radiation at any rate.

Anyone out there know for sure?
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Old 05-13-2004, 10:14 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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I've heard (sorry, no cite) it is carcinogenic not because of any particularly noxious chemical properties so much as the particle size - it can work its way right into the tissues of your lungs (if what I heard is correct).

Not much help, I know; the reason I was actually posting is to tell you that you probably don't have to shake the cartridge vigorously at all; just tipping it gently end-to-end a few times always does the trick for me, with no spillage.
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Old 05-13-2004, 01:36 PM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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Printer/copier toner is not carcinogenic.

There is an occupational hazard for people who work in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces with working electroreprographic equipment: siderosilicosis (black lung disease.)

As I understand it, this risk is only from toner residue that is put into the air during printing -- "cold" toner is not a hazard in this way. People who work refilling toner cartridges and are exposed to ridiculous amounts of airborne toner (both electrostatically-charged fresh toner and spent waste toner) show no increased tendency to contract the disease.
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Old 05-14-2004, 12:36 AM
jnglmassiv jnglmassiv is offline
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I've been to a factory where toner is manufactured (in suburban Chicago) and the place is completely covered in the stuff. Also, the employees don't wear masks or even eye protection. If the stuff was truly hazardous, OSHA would have stepped in a long time ago.

After spending a few hours there on the production floor, the first 'blowing of the nose' afterword is, erm, interesting.
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Old 05-14-2004, 01:36 AM
Valgard Valgard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Clanger
Well it can make nasty mess but will it give you the big C?

What's up is that the main printer in our office is playing up, the print fades to nothing halfway through a page. Now we know that by vigorously shaking the toner cartridge it's possible to fix the problem albeit temporarily. But some-one reckons that the toner dust that gets spread around is carcinogenic. Personally I doubt that, it's probably less dangerous than monitor radiation at any rate.

Anyone out there know for sure?
Most toner cartridges have a spring-loaded cover on them which is only held open when the cartridge is properly seated in the printer. When you take it out to shake the cartridge the door snaps shut so there's a pretty limited amount of toner that can escape and get into the air.
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