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HP Refutes Printer Study

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PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 8, 2007 -- Hewlett Packard (HP) is refuting a recent claim that its printers emit harmful levels of particles and said it stands behind the safety of its products.

Researchers at Queensland University of Technology in Australia  said workers could face health threats from office laser printers that emit large amounts of tiny particles and listed 12 models of HP printers and one Toshiba printer as high emitters. (See "Printer Particles Pose Risk")

HP said in a statement, "We do not believe there is a link between printer emissions and any public health risk. Specifically, HP does not see an association between printer use by customers and negative health effects for volatile organic compounds, ozone or dust. While we recognize ultrafine, fine and coarse particles are emitted from printing systems, these levels are consistently below recognized occupational exposure limits."

The company said it "hopes to learn more from the study authors about how products were chosen for the study, how ranges were determined given no standards exist and many other factors that could have influenced the results."

HP said it agrees that more testing in this area is needed, and that it is "active with" Air Quality Sciences, a US consulting firm and laboratory specializing in indoor air quality and product emmissions, and with the Wilhelm-Klauditz Institute in Germany. It said its research and development involves "rigorous testing and strict quality-control procedures."

HP added, "Testing of ultrafine particles is a very new scientific discipline. There are no indications that ultrafine particle (UFP) emissions from laser printing systems are associated with special health risks."

The company said, "The nature and chemical composition of such particles -- whether from a laser printer or from a toaster -- cannot be accurately characterized by analytical technology. However, many experts believe that many of the UFPs found in common household and office products are not discrete solid particles, but may be condensation products or small droplets created during thermal processes."

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Aug 2007
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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