Emission of ozone and organic volatiles from a selection of laser printers and photocopiers

Appl Occup Environ Hyg. 2000 Aug;15(8):629-34. doi: 10.1080/10473220050075635.


To estimate the impact of office equipment on the quality of indoor air, the emission of ozone and organic volatiles was measured from one photocopier and four laser printers, three of which operated according to traditional corona discharge technology. The laser printers equipped with traditional technology emitted significant amounts of ozone and formaldehyde. Lesser amounts of other volatile aldehydes were emitted during printing. The photocopier emitted mainly ozone. In a well-ventilated office environment, the amounts encountered here for individual volatiles were within recommended maximum exposure limits for a reasonable density of printers. Because it is not known whether the concentration of irritating volatiles, such as formaldehyde, should be kept lower in an ozone rich environment or not, and because emissions in the immediate vicinity of the printers exceeded recommendations, the authors recommend that laser printers equipped with the traditional corona rods not be placed beside or immediately at the working site of office personnel. This way, ozone concentrations can be kept below recommended maximum exposure limits, provided that the ventilation rate is adequate. Further, it seems that if a reliable quantitative comparison of total organic volatiles prior to and during printing is to be made, the inertness of the sorbent toward ozone should be confirmed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis*
  • Computers
  • Copying Processes*
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Organic Chemicals / analysis
  • Oxidants, Photochemical / analysis*
  • Ozone / analysis*
  • Printing
  • Volatilization


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Oxidants, Photochemical
  • Ozone