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Nanoparticles from printer emissions in workplace environments raise safety concerns

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A paper published in 2007 on printer emissions in office environments triggered further investigation on the exposure of workers to nanoparticles at the workplace.

The focus of this study by Safe Work Australia in partnership with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), was to investigate exposure of office workers to nanoparticles emitted from laser printers as well as temporal and spatial variations of nanoparticles within office environments, and to provide guidance on methods to minimise exposure to such emissions.

The 2007 paper published in the scientific literature alerted the community to the emission of particles during the operation of laser printers within office locations. This paper generated significant interest both within Australia and worldwide, with concerns being expressed within the media, and directed to Australian State, Territory, and Federal workplace health and safety regulatory bodies.

As this paper corresponded to the commencement of the National Nanotechnology Work Health and Safety Program, which amongst other things identified a need to validate techniques and methods for characterising airborne nanoparticles arising from the emerging nanotechnology industry, it was considered prudent to investigate both exposure to nanoparticles from laser printer operation and methods for characterising airborne nanoparticles in general.

Kenelec Scientific  specialises in a comprehensive range of environmental solutions including dust and air monitoring, sound and vibration, indoor air quality, ventilation equipment, particle counters and EMS, water quality monitoring, gas and VOC detection, OH&S instruments, lasers and laser ablation, fluid dynamics and particle research.

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