Measurement and Evaluation of Ultra-fine Particle Emissions from Laser Printers

October 9, 2008 - 12:00pm
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Several publications have recently appeared which describe the release of ultra-fine particles (UFPs) from hardcopy devices not only in chamber tests but also under real room conditions. Due to assumed health impacts attributed to UFPs this subject currently receives substantial public attention. For the characterization of emitted UFPs from laser printers, different test methods (box chamber tests, flow chamber tests, furnace tests) and analytical techniques (SMPS, FMPS, VHTDMA, GC/MS, Headspace/MS, thermography, etc…) were applied. It could be shown that the release of UFPs from hardcopy devices is often characterized by a short-term “initial burst” (“non-constant” emitter). When a rapid sequence of cascade measurements is taken, there is often a considerable reduction in emissions from one print to the next. With another type of printer ("constant" emitter) emission behavior over time is on the other hand more even. Measurements with modified devices have demonstrated that particles can also be released without any toner and paper being present. From furnace experiments and thermography it is assumed that the fuser unit and the fuser temperature appear to be important factors being involved in the creation of the UFP emissions. In the test chamber, the size distribution of the particles shows one mode at 10 – 20 nm and one mode at 40 – 100 nm. VHTDMA experiments provided information about the nature of the particles. GC/MS analysis proved that many organic compounds of printer components can also be found in sampled particles. The evaluation and comparison of all obtained results gives a good picture on the formation and chemical constitution of particle emissions from laser printers. Our results from measurements in a office room showed a much slower decay in particle concentration than during a chamber measurement with the same printer. This is probably due to the different climatic conditions in chamber and office. For more information about this seminar, please contact: Hugo Destaillats(510) 486-5897

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