Yes, photocopiers can be dangerous machines. They are known to produce several hazards which should be taken seriously into account. Here’s a list of known photocopier hazards, and what to do to protect yourself and others against them.
Known photocopier hazards include:
- Ozone gas production: this highly reactive, unstable and colourless, but not odourless gas which can affect respiratory tract, lungs and even the eyes;
- Toner dust is also dangerous for the respiratory tract, going as far as to cause respiratory tract irritation, sneezing and coughing - people suffering from bronchitis and asthma should stay clear of the machines, especially when changing toners;
- Photocopier overheating may cause the release of selenium, which if inhaled, can cause insomnia, upper respiratory tract disorders, poor concentration at work, irritation of the lips and of the eyes;
- Photocopiers may also release carbon monoxide gas, which is a deadly poisonous gas, causing nausea, headaches, dizziness and death;
- The bright lights produced by photocopiers can be very dangerous for the eyes.
But there are many ways you can protect oneself against these photocopier hazards:
- Getting an ozone filter;
- Regularly ventilating the room where the photocopier is placed;
- Following maintenance guidelines strictly;
- Taking extra care when refilling or changing toners;
- Staying clear from the photocopier as often as possible, and as far as possible.
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