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Printing Systems: Meeting Market Demands for Healthy Indoor Environments

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Acceptable indoor environmental quality is a necessary requirement for today's office buildings, schools, public facilities, and personal residences. On a global basis, indoor air quality is one of the top three environmental issues facing all countries and all people. Toxic chemicals, inorganic gases, particles, and microbes that are released by products into the indoor environment can contribute to human irritation, discomfort, and long term health consequences to those exposed. These human effects can lead to excessive medical costs, significant loss of productivity, and undesirable litigation. Printing devices are known contributors of indoor pollution such as respirable particles, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as styrene and formaldehyde, and ozone. Sources of these include construction materials, electronic and heating processes, inks and toners, papers and transparencies, plastics, and cleaning solvents. Manufacturers of office equipment are proactively designing for the environment, including indoor air quality as an important part of their product stewardship. Eco-criteria have been established for acceptable levels of airborne contaminants released by operating equipment. This paper will review current international programs addressing allowable emissions from print devices (including Blue Angel, Greenguard, and the State of California), test procedures, and representative emissions data from printers, copier, and computers.

Eco-criteria are based on the performance of operating office equipment and acceptable contributions of certain pollutants. Acceptable pollutant emissions of respirable particles, formaldehyde, styrene, benzene, and total volatile organic compounds are based on existing health and safety data with some consideration for protecting sensitive people from irritants and odorants. The primary measurement technique, environmental chamber technology, has been validated to test products under realistic use conditions and to determine emission rates of pollutant release. These data can be used in exposure models to predict and estimate potential human exposures, and to compare product data with prescribed eco-criteria. This measurement technology has been accepted on a global basis and ISO documentation is being prepared as a joint US/European effort.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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