Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology published a study in a September issue of the journal, Environmental Science & Technology. The study examined the impact 3D printers can have on indoor air quality (IAQ) and respiratory health.
3D printers have come under increasing scrutiny over the past several years due to the fact that these popular devices emit ultrafine particles (UFPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when in use. This occurs when plastic filaments are heated and used to create a 3D item.
For the study, particles emitted from the printers were collected and a chemical analysis was performed. Cells from humans and rats were also exposed to concentrations of the particles to examine how they would react. In addition, the study discussed how these printers used in a home, school or commercial building could have a different impact on IAQ issues due to factors such as varying rates of ventilation.
Studies find that desktop 3D printers can negatively impact indoor air quality. Just last year, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a science blog on the topic – 3D Printer Fumes and Health. Your Guide to 3D Printers and Health, Best Practices. In it, suggestions to mitigate these exposure concerns were addressed. They included implementing engineering controls such as ventilation, local exhaust duct connections and particulate filtration. The blog also stressed the importance of more research to identify low emitting filaments.
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This article has been edited from it’s original form. Source: WebWire