Copy Machine Toner Affects Your Health and the Environment

Toner has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 2B carcinogen. This means that it is possibly carcinogenic to humans due to one of the main components of black toner: carbon black. Toner is also considered a possible carcinogenic because it is in powder form, thus making it easy to inhale, and easily able to coat the respiratory surfac-es. Toner is a combustible powder when dispersed; in air it forms explosive mixtures.

It is highly recommended to use safety measures when handling toner:

  • Wear Safety Goggles
  • Wear a respirator

Symptoms of overexposure: Minimal respiratory tract irritation may occur with large amounts of any non-toxic dust.

Eyes: Flush with water

Skin: Wash with soap and water

Ingestion: dilute stomach contents with several glasses of water

Loose toner can be removed using a vacuum cleaner. Residue can be removed with soap and cold water. After removal of loose toner, clothing may be washed or dry cleaned.

Never incinerate ink or toners!!!

Protecting Our Environment

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Each year over 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are dumped into landfills or incinerated. To put this into perspective:

  • 1,000,000 cartridges per day
  • 11 cartridges per second
  • 375 million cartridges put end-to-end would circle the earth over 3 times.

Toner cartridges can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. The plastics used in printer cartridges are made of an engineering grade polymer that have a very slow decomposing rate ranging between 450 to 1000 years depending on the cartridge type. Ink cartridges may also leak printer ink polluting the sur-rounding environment.

The weight of a toner cartridge is about 3 to 4 pounds. The total weight of cartridges thrown away each year is equivalent to 112,463 Volkswagen Beetles.

THINK SAFE, ACT SAFE, BE SAFE! You can recycle your toner cartridges by dropping them off at any one of Comprenew’s 17 locations.