Volatile Organic Compounds: Can Your Copier Kill You?
What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?
“Volatile Organic Compounds are compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility.”
Most of these VOCs are created by humans and can have long- and short-term adverse health effects.
Copiers produce what are called “Volatile Organic Compounds” (or VOCs for short), and they can make your employees sick if they breathe them in over a long time period.
The most common compound that copiers produce is ozone, which is produced by operating high-voltage equipment like copiers and printers.
Ozone only causes harm when it builds up in a poorly ventilated room over time. Ozone is great in the atmosphere, but it’s toxic for humans.
What Are the Health Risks of Breathing Ozone Over Time?
If we breathe ozone in for too long, we could experience a host of health complications, such as:
- Irritation and inflammation of the lungs
- Coughing and wheezing
- Pain when breathing deep
- Risk of permanent lung damage from prolonged and repeated exposure
- Increased susceptibility to pneumonia and bronchitis
- Aggravation of asthmatic symptoms
- Reduction in lung capacity
Take These Simple Steps to Protect Your Workers from VOCs
If you want to ensure your workers’ long-term safety, you can take these steps to protect them from lung damage:
Place your copiers far away from employees’ desks, in a well-ventilated room.
You may lose out on having a big copier’s efficiency, but the price of sacrificing your workers’ health is much steeper.
Look at buying a copier that doesn’t create ozone.
These machines are rare (you even have difficulty finding places that sell them on a Google search.) Keep in mind that, with all things, the more rare a product, the more manufacturers charge for it. Kyocera is the main brand that consistently does not create ozone.
Replace your ozone filters frequently to keep your employees healthy.
If you see black marks on your office wall where your copier is sitting, they are most likely being produced by the VOC’s coming out of your copier. Continuously switch out your filters to help keep your employees healthy.
Take These Tips to Heart and Keep Your Workplace Safe.
Lung damage caused by Volatile Organic Compounds can be life-altering for your workers, but you have ways of keeping them safe. Follow the steps above, and you will prevent your copier from placing your workers’ health at risk.