Samsung has a home laser printer that I've seen on sale for seventy bucks. I almost bought one. That was last week.
This week, there's a report out of Australia in which researchers found that a third of laser printers emitted dangerous levels of toner dust which is fine and can linger in the air for fifteen minutes.
Of course, in an office setting, where the printer is being used all day long, the air may never clear – and that toner dust may be far worse than cigarettes, the researchers say. But probably not as dangerous as asbestos, I say.
Me: "Do you sit near your office printer?"
Wife: "Yes, it's an HP, why?"
Me "Oh my God… !"
From the article: "The researchers found that… More than half of the printers tested – and all but one of the highest polluters – were made by HP Laserjet."
Late last year, my wife had a routine chest X-ray which showed her to have a small spot on her lung. She was advised to get a follow-up X-ray in three months.
That one showed the same spot, and she was sent for a CT-scan which, surprise, also showed the spot.
My wife was then told to see a lung specialist, and she was fortunate enough to get an appointment – four and a half months later – at the end of August.
So we've been waiting since March to find out if the spot's gotten worse, or if (as I found out from the Net, not her doctors) such small spots are almost never cancer.
Would you feel relieved?
I mean no one asked to see her films to determine if there was any urgency, and when I brought up that seemingly significant point to my doctor (not hers), he advised that they would only do that (examine the X-rays ahead of time) "if she had symptoms."
Amazing, don't you think?
In the meantime, my wife went to Urgent Care last February because she was experiencing what she called "congestion" in her chest. It was determined that she was not having a heart attack, but these episodes have since become so frequent that she now regards them as routine.
And now… do you think exposure to toner particles five days a week could cause "congestion?"
Wife: "What do you want me to do, quit?"
That is the dilemma, isn't it? Does she quit or does she bring this study to her company's attention and possibly risk damaging her career or even being fired?
Or does she say nothing and just wait to see if she's only got months to live anyway?
Oh, and did I mention she works for an environmental testing lab?
Air quality heal thyself.