Toner is the very fine black or coloured powder formed of particles with a diameter of 2 - 10 μm, used in photocopiers and printers.

When laser printers and photocopiers are used, the toner particles are bonded to the paper by means of chemical and physical processes.

These processes could release airborne particles of toner and paper, ozone and even volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the air.

Based on the analysis of the Safety Data Sheets of the toners used and environmental monitoring in different rooms at PoliTO it has been found that:

  • the toners used are not classified as hazardous,
  • when used correctly, they are not a hazard for workers.

With regard to the correct use of toners, where possible:

  • toner printers that are used frequently should be installed in areas that are well ventilated, preferably in places where workers are not always present, such as entrance halls and corridors,
  • when toner printers are used for pronged periods of time or to print very large numbers of pages in poorly ventilated rooms, the windows should be opened regularly to ensure adequate ventilation.

Lastly, for operators whose main task is to replace toner cartridges, the Health and Safety Services Unit has drawn up a specific operating procedure based on the use of collective protective equipment (toner vacuum cleaners, wet cleaning, etc.) and personal protective equipment (FFP2 disposable dust masks, gloves, possibly lab coat).