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Subject: Laser printers and ozone

Laser printers and ozone

From: Simon Barcham Green <simongreen>
Date: Sunday, July 8, 2001
Heather Place <conservator [at] wag__mb__ca> writes

>We are currently looking to purchase a printer for our vault
>technician to use while working in our main vault. There has been a
>concern raised regarding the off-gassing of ozone from a laser
>printer and its effect on nearby works of art.

I am a bit surprised that the concern is for the art rather than the
people. Photocopiers can produce ozone and so presumably can laser
printers using the same technology. In buying copiers I found it
very difficult to get straight answers from the suppliers despite
health and safety legislation.

As far as I can find out there re three ways of testing ozone:

    a)  Laboratory quality monitors costing #500 plus in UK

    b)  Impregnated paper detectors which cost about #15 for a pack
        of 5. Not sure how useful they are as presumably the colour
        change depends on time as well as concentration.

    b)  Electronic detectors similar to a smoke alarm which are
        supposed to be fairly cheap according to a news paper
        article a few years OK. They were said to be US built. I
        have not been able to track down a supplier and if anyone
        has contact details I am sure a lot of people would like to
        know them.

This does not help Heather Place much prior to buying her printer.
However the printer will only produce ozone (if at all) when
actually printing so if the use is minimal so should be the
emissions. Guidance on ozone from copies is not to use them in small
unventilated spaces, so if there is some form of ventilation,
placing the printer near an extraction duct (whether in a vault or
in an ordinary office) would seem advisable. Printers suppliers like
HP should be able to supply information on ozone emission.


                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:10
                   Distributed: Monday, July 9, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-10-003
Received on Sunday, 8 July, 2001

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