Bello, D., J. Martin, C. Santeufemio, Q. Sun, K. Lee Bunker, M. Shafer and P. Demokritou, Physicochemical and Morphological Characterisation of Nanoparticles from Photocopiers: Implications for Environmental Health, Nanotoxicology, Vol. 1-15, 2012.
Several reports link printing and photocopying with genotoxicity, immunologic and respiratory diseases. Photocopiers and printers emit nanoparticles, which may be involved in these diseases. The physicochemical and morphological composition of these emitted nanoparticles, which is poorly understood and is critical for toxicological evaluations, was assessed in this study using both real-time instrumentation and analytical methods. Tests included elemental composition (40 metals), semi-volatile organics (100 compounds) and single particle analysis, using multiple high-sensitivity/resolution techniques. Identical analyses were performed on the toners and dust collected from copier’s exhaust filter. Engineered nanoparticles, including titanium dioxide, iron oxide and fumed silica, and several metals were found in toners and airborne nanoscale fraction. Chemical composition of airborne nanoscale fraction was complex and reflected toner chemistry. These findings are important in understanding the origin and toxicology of such nanoparticles. Further investigation of their chemistry, larger scale exposure studies and thorough toxicological characterisation of emitted nanoparticles is needed.