[Ultrafine particle emissions from laser printers]

G Ital Med Lav Ergon. 2015 Jul-Sep;37(3):135-43.
[Article in Italian]


In recent years there has been growing attention to the importance of indoor air quality on which scientist and experts have no doubts since in modern society we tend to spend most of the time in various types of indoor environments (office, private homes, etc.). Laser printers, in particular, release an aerosol into the environment including solid and liquid particles and gaseous compounds. The measurement of all these components is not practically feasible. Therefore, it is necessary to identify a marker which, when measured, shows accurately the frequency, duration and magnitude of the exposure. The measure with an optical particle counter (OPC) and a condensation particle counter (CPC) is an indicator with high sensitivity and representativeness. The major advantage of using these tools is the ability to detect the presence of ultrafine particles and also detect the particles in the liquid phase. The continuous recording of submicron particulate matter emitted during the printing activity allows to measure the exposure of personnel, while the ratio between the peak values and the values without printing activity can be used to classify the printers according to their emissivity. The particulate generated during the processes of printing has size less than 0.3 micron and therefore extends in the size range of nanoparticles (ultrafine particles less than 100 nm). These activities lead to high concentrations of ultrafine particles with a variability related to factors such as type of printer, toner, paper type, frequency of maintenance and air exchange. The concentrations of ultrafine particles in office environments can be reduced by proper choice of the printers, with the use of appropriate filtration techniques and placing the equipment away from workstations.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor*
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter*
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional*


  • Particulate Matter