Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by MRE, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. MRE

    MRE New Member

    I wish to let you know of my case as an information for your community and hopefully to raise your concern and feedback.

    I have suffered a devastating respiratory condition due to the vapours released by a photocopier and a laser printer in my office job. It was diagnosed as bronchial hyperreactivity and multiple chemical sensitivity, which means I cannot stand any chemical in the air, including perfumes and airfresheners which are now most offensive for me. My illness has not been officially acknowledged as of occupational origin although there are more similar cases around the world usually misdiagnosed as psychosomatic or anything unrelated to an exposure to noxious gases.

    Although there are plenty of studies about the risks from these machines (see medline or toxnet for a reliable database) there are influential interests hindering the open release of information concerning persons actually going ill because of these office machines.

    I try to spread this information in order to warn users to keep away from machines which might smell strongly or release dust. And if anyone knows of other cases of persons suffering obscure symptoms and syndromes never well understood who might have been breathing the concentrated vapours of these machines (particularly in the past before they were technically improved to reduce emissions) it would be helpful to leave messages for further comments and follow up. This is a very abridged introduction to a serious health risk which may be affecting an important number of unaware persons, notably women due to the fact that they have less size and less water in their tissues to get rid of noxious substances than big men. If concerned please pass on this information to others.
  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    When I was back working, I worked with an older photocopy machine and when the toner was out, we would have to get a bag of toner and pour the powdered toner into the machine. No matter how careful, the powered toner would do a little "poof" and like baby powder would go throughout some of the air.

    I have always worked at jobs with laser printers probably older models where you eventually end up cleaning the printer and around the printer because the toner gets like a fine dust around it.

    I also watched laser printers and photocopy machines grab and hold paper and burn it and you would get a burning smell in the air, which means there are minute burnt particles in the air.

    So you are very right about what these machines would throw out. I personally saw it, although it did not adversely impact me.

    I no longer work so I can't vouch for whether the newer photocopy machines and laser printers are made any environmentally better and much safer for people using them.
  3. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Hi MRE - my neighbor's son has been sick for many years now, I think he's diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. He used to fix photocopiers and believes his illness is from being exposed to the toner and other chemicals involved. so you're not alone and I am not at all surprised about a blackout on information about these hazards.

    I'm really sorry you got sick with this and hope this board can help you.

    Thank you for your post -