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back to article Reg health roundup: good and bad news today

An astonishing barrage of IT-industry health related stories broke overnight, engendering an emotional rollercoaster of alternating terror and hope here at Vulture Central. First up was the news from Down Under that Australian medical-fear researchers have discovered that laser printers will kill you. According to The Age, your …

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Anonymous Coward

ROTM!

this is most likely a two-stage attack in the ever onward march of the machines rise to power. first they deploy cancer giving laser printers into our workplaces in a bid to drive us out of the offices, then the harsh summer sun will give us cancer once we get outside.

there's no time to talk now, i think they must have rumbled me. paper is streaming out of the printer besides me at almost 35 ppm , it's already too late for me. go... save yourselves, head for one of the underground resistance safe houses, they've anticipated this happening for sometime now and have setup a large number of sites in any 100 square yards of land inhabited by more than 2 people. you may have seen one of these place already without knowing they are called Supportive Tactical Armed Response Bunkers Undermining the Cyborg Killer Systems. they are your only hope now... quick, run!

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Poor Research?

Could it be that the mice running on the treadmills were shaded from much of the UV light while on their treadmills - and that the lower exposure in this way led to a much lower incidence of skin cancer?

I wouldn't mind knowing also if these coffee drinking mice spilt a lot on themselves while drinking - because the dried coffee stains might make for a substitute sun cream.

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Scu

maybe they needed to be bald?

Wouldn't the hair block the UV, and in and of itself prevent skin cancer?

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Anonymous Coward

WARNING: Printing Kills

Given the inherent dangers of printing, not only on the lungs of the person performing the print operation, but also to those unfortunate enough to work in the same environment, I believe it is only fair that printers include a giant warning label, covering no less than 1/3 of the casing and that printing should only be performed in open spaces that cannot be construed as a place of work.

It would be hypocrisy on the grandest scale to take these measures with cigarettes but not with printers, whose effects are clearly just as detrimental to one's health.

And for those who cannot easily give up printing, and I know there are one or two, pharmacists could always provide toner patches to send dangerous toner pumping directly into the blood supply, or even better, toner chewing gum, for those moments where one feels like one just can't go on without another print job.

I'd go and start a petition at the downing street site but I suspect I've probably been pipped to the post by now.

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What next?

It was wireless networks, then it was projectors, now it's printers ... what will they think of next?!

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Next? CFLs?

Don't fluorescent lights put out more ultraviolet than incandescents? With the wide scale adoption of compact fluorescent lightbulbs, it seems to me that this increase in exposure to UV rays will increase the rate of skin cancer. Of course, going outside to get away from them just exposes you to more UV. And covering yourself with UV blocking layers of clothing will just heat you up so much you'll get heat stroke.

We're all doomed. Might as well just walk off that cliff with all the lemmings.

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Best. Paragraph. Ever

"Obviously, any deviant so addicted to paper that they just can't do without is welcome to stand in the street and print stuff out, or do it in the privacy of their own home or car. But it's wholly unacceptable for these marginal narco-terrorists to drag the rest of us down with them in an invisible, silent snowstorm of lung-dissolving particulate filth."

Absolutly fantasic.

Does this mean I can start smoking again as long as I promise not to print any reports ever again.... BARGAIN!

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Anonymous Coward

It's suddenly clear

I knew there was a reason to put the laser printer there, on the boss' desk where the daily 500 page reports are printed. Just shows you need to follow your gut feelings, especially after the cheap whiskey.

Is that Simon's keyboard I hear clicking? I sense a BOFH story being created.

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Hmm

Hmm , I always did wonder why white paper under the positive ion generator sitting on my desk during work hours and was used a make shift paper weight turned black.

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... and ozone

yes, laser printers also give off ozone.

AndyD 8-)#

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Salad is carcinogenic!!!!!

I have said this for years, eventually they will find everything is bad for you and we should all kill ourselves to avoid death by smoke/toner/fluffy rabbits.

I do love the comparisons drawn with smoking (not much though, I'm trying to forget the 5 weeks since my last hit of marlborory goodness!). Can anyone see printers being banished to the outdoors? Not likely!

I may just go and suck on my laserjet until my nicotine craving passes!

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Right...

Someone does a piece of real research and is poo-pooed by the village idiots. Impressive. You guys still using asbestos for ceilings etc.? No? How come...? Oh, it's because someone figured out it wasn't healthy for you. Well, well. And that only took how many deaths before it was phased out...? This level of reporting is about what I would expect from The Sun and ilk, not El Reg.

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Well, good

I hate printers. I have always hated them. People are always asking me to fix them. I'm a software person. How the f*ck should I know how to fix a printer ? Countless code hours wasted staring into the mysterious guts of some godawful office equipment filled with springs and belts and tiny things that break off when you look at them, and then won't go back on, so you have to lie to the service engineer, when the lazy bugger actually gets around to turning up.

No, I shall no longer stand for it. Currently I do this :

Supplicant : "Hey Steve, do you know what's wrong with the printer ?"

Me : "Yes, it's shit."

Supplicant : "??!!"

I shall enjoy being able to say "Yes, it's poisoning us all slowly to death, throw the hateful thing out of the window and have done with it."

I hate printers.

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Anonymous Coward

Compare this with natural dust...

It might make sense: all that fine toner could possibly spread around

while the printer is printing, the fine particles easily diffused in the

air since the cartridge is not vacuum sealed.

But, wouldn't such ultra fine particles exist naturally in the air due

to naturally occurring dust, etc. Wouldn't our respiratory system be

adapted to withstand the onslaught of such ultra fine dust particles

since we've been living breathing this same natural dust for millions of

years.

The quantity of such ultra fine natural dust is probably going to be

quite low. But then, even the quantity of "ultra fine" toner dust is so

low it wasn't even noticed till now.

Do ethnic people living in deserts and surviving sandstorms have

respiratory diseases? If the sand particle size is normally distributed,

isn't it probable that such sandstorms would have a significant quantity

of ultra-fine particles?

Is all this really such a big deal? Or have we become so soft and

sheltered we'd like to shy away from anything which has a hint of being

remotely hazardous to our health? Even though we might have been living

with it for centuries.

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Silver badge

Not the same

Actually, the fact this study fails to realize is that the very reason for tar and other crap from cigarrettes to get down to the lungs is because the stuff in cigarrettes paralyzes the cilia that usually filters out small particles in the nose. There is a reason for breathing through the nose, you know???

Actually tar is the main reason I don't smoke: the idea of having crap in my lungs scared the hell out of me when I read about it. I don't do stuff that permanently damages you...

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Utter Craaaap

H3LL, I'm 52 and I've been servicing copiers & printers since 1977.

I smoke, drink coffee & beer and I can still walk without assistance.

Those pansy scientists would be better off analyzing the effects of inhaling colour toner particles and it's affect on skin tone.

I figure that by the year 2020 ( when I plan to retire) my tan will probably resemble somewhere near processed black.

Everyone move to Canada. The air is so much cleaner here.

Doug (the invisible repair guy)

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Ru
Silver badge

Fine particles

The difference between, say, fine sand particles and fine toner particles (or indeed the fine soot particles you find in diesel exhaust, for instance) is that sand is generally fairly inert, and toner (and soot) is reactive and carcinogenic.

The former would just give you a bit of a cough. The latter would mean your chance of getting lung cancer is increased.

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Woo Steve

Again, in its entriety, because its the best damn diatribe I have read on here for a long time! And if its any consolation, I hate fax machines. Yes they were technologically advanced, now they are just a substandard method for moving blurry (and still somerimes curly) paper around the world, rendeirng it illegible and necessitating the phone call to clarify, that would have done the job in the first place!

And just in case the image might come out legible at the other end, it sucks through 3.2 offset and wonky pages at once in its "new improved sheet feed" so I then have to manually feed it one page at a time, wasting yet more time. And they are only capable of beeping at ultrasonic, ear splitting frequencies.

And my colleagues here actually still print emails and give them to eachother in a kind of homage to faxes. We even have amazing fax servers here to cope with 10 lines, and what do these servers do? PRINT THE GOD DAMN FAXES!

I hate printers, fax machines and stupid paper-wasting eco-oblivious technophobes.

I love Steve.

"I hate printers. I have always hated them. People are always asking me to fix them. I'm a software person. How the f*ck should I know how to fix a printer ? Countless code hours wasted staring into the mysterious guts of some godawful office equipment filled with springs and belts and tiny things that break off when you look at them, and then won't go back on, so you have to lie to the service engineer, when the lazy bugger actually gets around to turning up.

No, I shall no longer stand for it. Currently I do this :

Supplicant : "Hey Steve, do you know what's wrong with the printer ?"

Me : "Yes, it's shit."

Supplicant : "??!!"

I shall enjoy being able to say "Yes, it's poisoning us all slowly to death, throw the hateful thing out of the window and have done with it."

I hate printers."

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