back to article Fraunhofer boffins: Laser printers safe after all

Scientists from Germany's renowned Fraunhofer institutes have concluded that the much-hyped issue of laser printers emitting deadly toxic clouds of toner particles is essentially bunk. Printers do emit small amounts of volatile organic chemicals, but so do toasters. Various researchers had theorised that laser printers might …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Kenneth Chan

    Get your research right the first time!

    Upon reading the laser printer = quick death story, the hypochondriacs in my lab had me move the laser printer to some hole, now I find everything is Okay?!

    Get your research straight, keep some Canaries by the printer and see how long it takes for them to die!

    Sounds like a good research project, just got to get it pass the ethics board....

    Flames 'cause they bastards will get another paper out of the deal!

  2. Whitter

    Laser printers? Toast? Pah!

    If you want to overdose on volatile organic compounds, just take a trip into the lobby of your local department store: the fumes from the perfume counters that always clutter up the entranceway of these stores are enough to make one gag.

    On the issue of clogging up the entrance, a.k.a. exit, perhaps spare a thought for your nearest fire escape route: the one that weaves though all those highly flammable bottles over there...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    So I guess

    our laser printers are still toast.

  4. Jerome
    Thumb Up

    suicidal baccophile nihilists

    I demand you re-open the neologisms poll immediately, and add this classy epithet as an option. I almost wish I hadn't give up my baccophilia, so I could still describe myself as such.

  5. Mike Taylor


    "volatile substances such as paraffins and silicon oils"

    That'd be the bit that smells of toast, then?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    in other news...

    A new start up company has begun selling filters that attach to your ass. When the owner of the company and patent holder were asked about the viability of the product they were quoted as saying

    "After a study concluded that breathing in other peoples gaseous excretions was bad your your health and run the risk of making the workforce ill, and the amount of gas was on the rise from the consumption of fast foods was causing concerns for the environmentalists, we have now added a collection facility that captures the gases and stores it for re-cycling..."

    he also added, "lets face it, if its in the air and you can identify its source, its bad for you and some time sooner or later they will ban the source of the contamination. we aim to put ourselves in the right place to lead the in the personal filtration market"

    When he was later asked another study placing the blame on the rise of asthma on the lack of particulates in the air as babies, thus not developing a natural immunity to the particulates, he replied, " I have not heard about that one... no more questions, i am off for a cigarette"

    mines the one covering the toaster to keep the particulates from contaminating me..

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The problem is...

    ...that unfounded speculation is free whereas reasoned thinking hurts and takes time (and sometimes money, but not always). Hence, speculation is popular. The fight against creationists suffers from the same problem. And "alternative therapy" (I am one by training, though not by profession). And politics. And...

    Chalk one up for the good guys. Only 999999999 old wives tales to go. Bah. Humbug.

  8. Luther Blissett

    I love the smell of laser printer in the morning

    Very very roughly speaking. Roughly speaking then, the office junior should be kept away from the Reg this afternoon lest they come to believe laser printers emit copious quantities of fuel oil and furniture polish. Noxious, as everybody knows.

    I expect Lewis also loves the smell of laser printer in the morning, being an old sea-dog - roughly speaking - or more nicely, an old under-sea-dog. In which case roughly used neoprene may be top smell.

    Continuing, I estimate more have died from polishing turds than smoking accidentally. I think this deserves a star. Wot no star icons. Triangle then - roughly star shaped.

  9. Duncan Hothersall

    I skim-read this article

    and I now believe that toasters are harmful to health. I will be blogging about this shortly, and probably creating a Facebook group, and when I do some web searches to find out more I will ignore any results which do not correspond with my new beliefs, and focus only on those which support the view that toasters are carcinogenic.

  10. Dan Price


    Did anyone else mis-read baccophile as Bacofoil?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    "volatile substances such as paraffins and silicon oils"

    "volatile substances such as paraffins and silicon oils"

    So really safer than breathing the vapors from someone's skanky aromatherapy candle then?

  12. Anonymous Coward


    but the workers where i used to work, insisted on having the latest HP laser printer..

    then started complaining about the fumes/smell

    which they DID emmit, to the point that sitting near them would make you ill

    the company moved them to a small spare room just for the lasers

    (the later complaints that they had to get up and walk to the printer to get thier pages was taking the piss)

  13. Stevie


    Exactly when were these so-called "boffins" going to alert us to the Toxic Toaster Menace?

  14. kaiserb_uk

    I thought

    laser printers produce Ozone? Or am I wrong?


  15. Dave


    Who said that the poll was closed?

  16. chris


    As dangerous as a toaster is pretty dangerous.

    Top tip from experience. When dislodging stuck toast, use a knife with a plastic handle.

  17. Chris G

    Toxic Toasters

    Toasters are carcinogenic! if you smoke enough of them, however, the good news is, they are difficult to light and therefore not many people will smoke enough of them to actually get cancer.

    In other news the gov' are considering moves to make the storing of Baccophilic pornography on electronic storage devices a capital offence.

    ( I just wanted to use the word Baccophilic, it's kind of woody)

  18. Luther Blissett


    I prefer to think of myself as a nicotiniac.

  19. BlueGreen

    Agree with @kaiserb_uk, I thought laser produce ozone

    Mine stinks of it when it runs. Very irritating to breathe and probably quite damaging as it's very reactive. I turn it on, click print & sprint outside.

    Why no mention of that?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ kaiserb_uk

    depends on the technology used: machines which employ a charged roller instead of a corona wire don't generate any ozone. That said, those that do emit ozone are required under health and safety law to have an ozone filter which is changed at prescribed periods.

    Now, if you REALLY want a health scare, spend a moment or two looking up acrylamides. Which are also found in toast, but not in laser printers

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    The real risk of a laser printer.... the fact that the printing engine encodes data about the printer and the machine that generated the print and puts it into the yellow dot pattern decribed here

    Remember, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they wouldn't get you if they wanted to.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Printer ozone... it. Absolutely love it.

    That and diesel exhaust. Put me in a closed garage behind a running school bus with twenty big copiers, and I'm in hog heaven. What was I saying?

  23. Scott L. Burson

    Silicone oil, not silicon

    Will journalists ever learn the difference? Silicon is an element; in its pure form, it's a solid, somewhat resembling the mineral hematite but considerably lighter -- and of course is the primary raw material for the chips powering our industry. Silicones, on the other hand, are compounds, any of a variety of silicon-oxygen copolymers; they can be oils, greases, adhesives, rubbers, etc.

  24. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down


    Not such a top tip. I think that you'll find that the top tip (as used by everyone capable of finding their own arse without needing a map and the use of both hands) is to unplug it. Using a placcy handled knife may give you a false sense of security though....

  25. Kris Sweeney


    I read Chris's comment as a top tip from a helpful BOFH to a user burning toast in the breakout room...

    I'd have asked the user to ensure his hand was wet first 'to help protect from the heat'

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like