Nanoparticles from Printer Emissions in Workplace Environments

Publication Date : 2011
Code : 126
91 Visited Entry Date : 2017/10/07

AUSTRALIA

English
Volume 69 Pages
Document type Report
Subject Characterization & Testing ; Occupational Safety ; Exposure Assessment
Summary

Several papers published over the last few years described the results of investigations into particle emission arising during the operation of laser printers and confirmed that laser printers are an important source of nanoparticles in indoor office environments.

Questions arising from these studies included:

- what impact does the operation of laser printers have on the background particle number concentration (PNC) of an office environment over the duration of a typical working day?

- what influence does the office ventilation have upon the transport and concentration of particles?

- is there a need to control the generation of, and/or transport of particles arising from the operation of laser printers within an office environment? And

- what instrumentation and methodology is relevant for characterising such particles?

This report expands upon the findings of these studies by providing answers to these questions based upon the results of measurement and evaluation of emission and transport of nanoparticles arising from the operation of laser printers in multiple real office locations.

The focus of this work 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 scope of this study was limited to investigating the characteristics and behaviour of particles arising from the operation of laser printers in office locations and did not include the toxicological evaluation of the aerosol. Therefore, no direct conclusion was made regarding the health effects of exposure to these particles.

The overall aim of this project was to utilise real-time particle measurement instrumentation to improve upon existing knowledge of particle emissions from laser printers operating in office locations in order to investigate particle temporal and spatial concentrations, to characterise exposure, and identify means to minimize such exposure.

The objectives of the project were to:

1. Measure concentrations of printer emitted particles in the environment of operating machines.

2. Model air flow and particle distributions indoors.

3. Consider the impact of ventilation and filtration systems on particle spatial and temporal characteristics.

4. Assess associated human exposure and risk.

5. Develop guidance material, based upon the findings of the project, to minimise exposure to emissions during the use of laser printers.
Content

List of Abbreviations

 

Glossary

 

1. Executive Summary

   Scope and limitations of this study

   Summary of main findings

      Background and printer contribution to particle concentrations

      Exposure characterisation

      Mitigation and control

   Advice on nanoparticle assessment and control strategies

      Option 1 - Nanoparticle exposure control only, no assessment

      Option 2 – Nanoparticle exposure assessment followed by control implementation

 

2. Introduction

 

3. Overall Aim

 

4. Objectives

 

5. Research Methodology

   General Information

   Instrumentation

   Experimental design

   Selection of offices and printers

   Description of office environment, including ventilation

   Data Analysis

 

6. Results

   Time series of particle number concentration in the offices

   Contribution of particles from printing activities to the overall office background average particle number concentration

   Eight-hour time-weighted average exposure of office workers to particles arising from printing activities

   Peak and 30 minute short-term exposure to particles arising from printer activities

   Difference in spatial particle exposure at one and two metres from printers

   Comparison of submicrometre and supermicrometre sized particles during printing

   Influence of local ventilation upon particle number concentration

   Effect of type of printing and ventilation upon particle number concentration

   Results of Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling

 

7. Discussion and Conclusions

   Concentrations of printer emitted particles in the environment of operating laser printers

      Estimated eight-hour time-weighted printer particle exposure, peak exposure, and 30 minute short-term exposure

      Relationship between particle size range and printer operation

      Variables influencing printer particle number concentration emission and emission classification

   Modelling of air flow and particle distributions indoors

   Impact of ventilation and filtration systems on particle spatial and temporal characteristics

 

8. Human Exposure and Risk

   Local background particle exposure as a reference value for printer particle control decision making

   Method for measuring particle emissions from laser printers and exposure within office locations

   Guidance on minimising exposure to emissions during the use of laser printers

      Option 1 - Nanoparticle exposure control only, no assessment

      Option 2 – Nanoparticle exposure assessment followed by control implementation

 

9. References

 

APPENDIX A – Graphs of time-series plots of nanoparticles and PM2.5 measured at one metre from the printers

 

APPENDIX B - Graphs of time-series plots of nanoparticles measured simultaneously at one and two metres from the printers

 

APPENDIX C - Graph of time-series plots of nanoparticles measured simultaneously at 0.1 metre and one metre from printer

 

APPENDIX D - Graph of time-series plots of submicrometre and supermicrometre particle number count during printing

 

APPENDIX E – Description of ANCOVA Method and Analysis

Organization
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