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3D Printers Shown To Emit Potentially Harmful Nanosized Particles

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the price-you-pay-for-having-a-plastic-version-of-your-own-head dept.

Printer 180

An anonymous reader writes "A new study by researchers in the Built Environment Research Group at the Illinois Institute of Technology shows that commercially available desktop 3D printers can have substantial emissions of potentially harmful nanosized particles in indoor air. Many desktop 3D printers rely on a process where a thermoplastic feedstock is heated, extruded through a small nozzle, and deposited onto a surface to build 3D objects. Similar processes have been shown to have significant aerosol emissions in other studies using a range of plastic feedstocks, but mostly in industrial environments. In this study, researchers measured ultrafine particle concentrations resulting from a popular commercially available desktop 3D printer using two different plastic feedstocks inside an office. Ultrafine particles (or UFPs) are small, nanosized particles less than 100 nanometers in diameter. Inhalation of UFPs may be important from a health perspective because they deposit efficiently in the lung and can even translocate to the brain. Estimates of emission rates of total UFPs in this study were high, ranging from about 20 billion particles per minute for a 3D printer utilizing a lower temperature polylactic acid (PLA) feedstock to about 200 billion particles per minute for the same type of 3D printer utilizing a higher temperature acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) feedstock. The emission rates were similar to those measured in previous studies of several other devices and indoor activities, including cooking on a gas or electric stove, burning scented candles, operating laser printers, or even burning a cigarette."

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180 comments

Obvious Government FUD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44338533)

This is obvious FUD created by some government to prevent people from using 3D printers to print guns.

Re:Obvious Government FUD (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 9 months ago | (#44338781)

Actually, if you 3D-print a gun it can potentially emit a harmful normal-sized particle.

Re:Obvious Government FUD (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44338827)

That's the point, so you can defend against getting your head bashed into the sidewalk by a 17 year old with Iced Tea and Skittles.

Re:Obvious Government FUD (-1, Troll)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#44339301)

I'm impressed with your trolling ability. Slashdot trolls have been doing little more than copy and paste these days. Trolling that's actually following the conversation, that's a rarity.

Trolls here would probably be better at their game if they went and got a good alignment at a licensed chiropractor, then used myclean PC on their windows phones which are infinitely superior to chromebooks.

Re:Obvious Government FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44338969)

By which you mean the plastic shrapnel when it explodes in your hand. (Okay to be fair it does fire at your target too.)

So... How worrying is this, really? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44338543)

The emission rates were similar to those measured in previous studies of several other devices and indoor activities, including cooking on a gas or electric stove, burning scented candles, operating laser printers, or even burning a cigarette.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (0)

Shinobi (19308) | about 9 months ago | (#44338601)

Because it's cumulative, it can be very worrying. Factor in that it's not just your own activities you have to worry about, but neighbours etc, and you can see the problem. I mean, all non-smokers know how fucking vile it is having to be near smokers, and how it affects breathing for many.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#44338631)

Because it's cumulative, it can be very worrying. Factor in that it's not just your own activities you have to worry about, but neighbours etc, and you can see the problem. I mean, all non-smokers know how fucking vile it is having to be near smokers, and how it affects breathing for many.

yeah.. but candles & cooking? if it's similar to cooking, I'll continue to not give a shit about it. if smoking.. well I might build an exhaust - or start smoking indoors.

this study isn't about if it smells good or not though, which is pretty much the instant cigarette effect people get, so why bring that up..

(anyhow, from the study, pla seems to be 3x background for duration of the print. I'd be interested in PET plastic study too, the prints with it are a lot sturdier.. also, probably the coloring agents etc play a role, so including those would have been nice)

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339147)

yeah.. but candles & cooking? if it's similar to cooking, I'll continue to not give a shit about it.

It really depends on what type of cooking you are talking about though, and if it is the total that is comparable, or the emission rates. If the rates are comparable to some high temperature cooking in a skillet, that could be bad. Some users will have the printer running hours on end. And have you seen what happens to a kitchen that is cooking things like that for long periods of time? The walls and surfaces anywhere near the stove will can become caked in oil and soot, even if it doesn't look like much is coming off the food (i.e. you aren't burning it or making a lot of smoke).

And a family member used to really like scented candles, to the point it was the only thing I could give her as a gift that she wouldn't become fusy over. Until she realized that they were leaving a film of soot and junk on surfaces around the house, even though she only used a candle in one of two rooms.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (1)

matria (157464) | about 9 months ago | (#44340199)

Fumes from overheated teflon pans will kill parrots and other cagebirds.

Re: So... How worrying is this, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44340283)

1st world problems.

Re: So... How worrying is this, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44340401)

Avian problems, Id have thought.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 9 months ago | (#44340529)

Burning (err, decomposing, I guess) enough teflon will kill people too. HF is nasty shit.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339455)

yeah.. but candles & cooking? if it's similar to cooking, I'll continue to not give a shit about it.

The question I would like answered is: "Was this a legitimate study, or were they paid for specific results?"

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (5, Insightful)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 9 months ago | (#44339641)

Yes, but how often do you cook plastic?

One must distinguish between similarity in particle output and similarity in particle composition!

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44340421)

Well, other than the xenoestrogen effects of certain plastic, I haven't noticed in the news of any potential ill effects of plastics. I would think that plastic particles are safer than gas, wax, ash, etc., as plastic polymers are in general less reactive than natural ones which have all sorts of volatile impurities.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (0, Offtopic)

Dunbal (464142) | about 9 months ago | (#44338651)

Oh dear, using these devices will knock a whole year off of your life expectancy. That crucial year between 80 and 81, gone forever. Just think of all the soiled diaper opportunities you will miss! Yes I am being sarcastic.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 9 months ago | (#44338681)

Or you'll start soiling your diapers earlier, effectively taking away a year of good health.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#44339623)

Or you'll start soiling your diapers earlier, effectively taking away a year of good health.

Probably worse than that. Particulate-related health effects tend to concentrate either in the lungs, for obvious reasons, or the heart/major blood vessels(because suitably small particulates can enter the bloodstream through the gas-exchange surfaces of the lungs and trigger various inflammatory freakouts).

If you think pissing yourself is inconvenient and humiliating, try operating on substantially substandard oxygen supplies... Every shallow gasp giving you about half the oxygen you really want...

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44339723)

Which is why these things should not be in your house. They should be operated in your garage, with the windows open and ventilation fans blowing while you're in the house waiting for your part to be made. Then it's safe.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#44338881)

Factor in that it's not just your own activities you have to worry about, but neighbours etc

No, you don't. You might not have noticed, but this world is chock full of floating nanoparticles. We call them "dust", "pollen", "smoke", etc. Our lungs have similarly evolved to deal with these particles. I think it is quite senseless to get up in arms over the minuscule supply of particles from your neighbor's 3D printing machine while ignoring the vast swarm of particles coming from the dust mites living on your skin and environment.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339513)

But it has the prefix "nano" in it, so that must mean that it's nanotechnology, right? And we all know that that ends in gray goo. Please click the link in the article!

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (5, Insightful)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 9 months ago | (#44339631)

Something tells me our systems are a little more capable of dealing with biodegradable skin cells than burnt plastic byproducts.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44339753)

Probably. But at nanoscale, the plastics may be biodegradeable too. Or not. Maybe they just pile up in your lungs like some other particles.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44340265)

The whole "dust is mostly skin cells" thing is an urban legend.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339661)

um, no. please read up about how and why certain kinds of asbestos are bad for your lungs and others aren't. hint: not all tiny particles are the same size, and you just lumped together particles covering many orders of magnitude.

your body is quite good at filtering out particles of a few given size bands, but there ARE gaps in that. And if the particle falls into that gap (what was it, ~6 micron?) then you really shouldn't be breathing it in if you can help it.

our lungs have not evolved to deal with these sized particles exactly because they are not common in nature. (until now, thanks to us)

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (3, Insightful)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 9 months ago | (#44339703)

Pollen can break down in our bodies, dust get's encased in mucus and expelled and smoke - well, you don't want to be inhaling too much of that at a time. As you said our bodies 'evolved' to handle most of those threats - including becoming smart enough to not expose ourselves to them. Plastic however is only about 100 years old. I'm pretty sure we haven't evolved enough since the early 1900s to develop resistance to inhaling an aerosolized version of this already toxic chemical.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44339745)

Nanoparticles are much smaller than pollen. (11.5 nm to 116 nm). At that scale, particles can be much more active than the bulk materials. And seriously, POLLEN? When people think of airborne substances that give them problems, that's very high on the list. Not to be compared in severity with coal dust, but still pretty bad.

The take home lesson is this: keep it out of your house and operate it in an area well-ventilated to the outside, or in a room with HEPA filters which MIGHT be good enough to take most of the nanoparticles out of the air before you breathe it into your lungs where it can cause problems.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339951)

Even if you don't know what the effects of those particles are, whereas the effects of the others you mentioned are well known?

You might not have noticed, but this world is chock full of floating nanoparticles. What you definitely didn't notice is that not all particles are created equal. If those were alpha particles of helium, for example, you'd have all sorts of problems. Our lungs haven't "similarly evolved" to deal with synthetic materials, it's the same reason why plutonium is so dangerous to humans -- it wasn't in the environment when we evolved, we have no real natural resistance to it.

The fact that you would spew out words like "nanoparticles" and then completely ignore the consequences makes me think you were trying to sound smarter than you really are. Judging by your posting history, I don't blame you.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (2)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#44340173)

If those were alpha particles of helium, for example, you'd have all sorts of problems

You know what happens when you take a whiff of a bag of alpha particles? You talk funny for a few seconds. What makes alpha radiation dangerous isn't that they are alpha particles, but that they're alpha particles with lots of kinetic energy, enough to ionize any cells they happen to run into.

The fact that you would spew out words like "nanoparticles" and then completely ignore the consequences makes me think you were trying to sound smarter than you really are. Judging by your posting history, I don't blame you.

Like the "fact" that you would spew out words like "alpha particles"? I find it interesting how many people do the things of which they accuse me in the very post in which they make the accusation.

I see no evidence of any "consequences" to breathing in small amounts of small particles of plastics, especially inert and decomposable stuff like polyethylene. I think it's ridiculous that people are so overwrought over this story.

And I didn't use the odious term, "nanoparticles" because I wanted to look clever, but because that was the term used in the summary.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339957)

The particulates you listed are significantly bigger than nanoparticles.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (4, Funny)

interval1066 (668936) | about 9 months ago | (#44338943)

BBQ-ing causes cancer too. So... if you're creating a gun w/a 3D printer while BBQing some pork and the power goes out, don't take that last drag off that cigarette, it could be your last.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (0)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#44339639)

Because it's cumulative, it can be very worrying

"It can also be very worrying" if you believe that the CIA is hypnotically programming your brain through a radio receiver implanted in your tooth. That doesn't make it a rational worry.

Re:So... How worrying is this, really? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 9 months ago | (#44340241)

The amount of emissions might be similar... I would expect the composition of those emissions to be considerably different. How many plastics would there be getting cooked on a gas or electric stove, or in a scented candle? Probably not very many...

Something must go (2)

BSAtHome (455370) | about 9 months ago | (#44338565)

When multiple options are available to mitigate the problem, then the most often used should be eliminated.

Hear you all, stop cooking! You're potentially killing yourself from nano-particle emissions. Stop cooking, now, please.

Re:Something must go (4, Insightful)

ndogg (158021) | about 9 months ago | (#44339463)

The difference is that we don't know what these particular particles will do to our bodies yet, and this was something rather unanticipated with 3d printers. Ultimately more research needs to be done, and it may well turn out that these particles are harmless, but considering that we don't know much about their interactions with our biology, it's best to assume the worst until we know better.

With cooking, candles, etc., we've been doing it for so long that we can probably safely assume that the resulting particles aren't causing any significant harm.

Re:Something must go (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#44339673)

Soot is known to cause lots of harm because it contains carcinogens and particulate carbon.

There are several studies on the interaction of PLA particles with living tissue. PLA is a non-toxic, biocompatible, biodegradable polymer; it's almost certainly less harmful than soot.

Re:Something must go (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 9 months ago | (#44339713)

What's the chance those studies were funded by the companies that sell PLA? Pretty decent I would say.

Re:Something must go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339941)

What's the chance your post was funded by the companies that sell soot? Pretty decent I would say.

Re:Something must go (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 9 months ago | (#44339731)

From the summary this is only a side effect of gas and electric cooking. Everyone should switch to using open wood fireplaces. That'll stop the particles from gas and electric cooking from fouling our air.

Re:Something must go (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 9 months ago | (#44340407)

Can't take the chance. Just going to eat my chicken raw, just like my ancestors did before they learned to cook with fire. I imagine they must have been much healthier then since their diet was more natural and not tainted with carcinogens. How many people have died from cancer through the eons that could have been prevented by staying away from smoke and fire?

Perfect Excuse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44338581)

Perfect excuse for the EPA to seize control over printing devices, with all their power to pass regulations without legislative oversight or the consequences of answering to the people.

Hooray.

Re:Perfect Excuse (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 9 months ago | (#44340425)

If only that bastard Nixon were still alive to account for the atrocities of the agency he created so many years ago.

Panic inducing (3, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | about 9 months ago | (#44338593)

My guess is that we're going to find nanoparticles a VERY common part of our environment, and that just about any process that grinds or sprays is going to generate nanoparticles.

Fortunately, considering that bacteria and viruses are ALSO nanoparticles, our bodies have evolved amazing defenses against them.

Re:Panic inducing (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#44338641)

well their study has the PLA result to be 3x than what the baseline is, about. the abs result seems a bit funky, why that happens would be interesting. there's likely large differences between models though too, while in principle most 3d home printers have a same kind of extrusion setup.. it's not really so.

Re:Panic inducing (1)

pla (258480) | about 9 months ago | (#44339629)

well their study has the PLA result to be 3x than what the baseline is, about. the abs result seems a bit funky

Well, y'know, I do keep myself in shape, but I wouldn't really call my abs anything to write home about...

Re:Panic inducing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339221)

The concern is what the nanoparticles are made from, not merely that they exist. The dangers of asbestos come from its airborne nanoparticle form.

Re:Panic inducing (1)

plover (150551) | about 9 months ago | (#44340455)

Exactly. Asbestos is dangerous because the tiny shattered fibers are like little X-acto knife blades, forever stabbing at lung cells, popping them like tiny balloons. Eventually, one pierces a cell wall without killing the cell, the sharpened tip of the asbestos crystal slices some of that cell's DNA into random bits, and the cell replicates with that corrupt DNA. Sorry, but that cell just became ground zero for another case of mesothelioma.

Aerosolized ABS plastic? I don't know what shape those nanoparticles are, but I'd bet a lot they're not tiny sharpened spears, so they're not going to act like asbestos. If they're going to harm the lungs, it would have to be through a chemical reaction, like tobacco smoke. But ABS is a nontoxic, stable compound [plasticsmadesimple.com] , and as it's insoluble in water, it's unlikely to break down into its toxic components. Certainly, an awful lot of very small kids have chewed on ABS plastic toys to no toxic effects.

Of course, the material safety data sheet I linked to above shows that molten plastic can cause burns, and if set on fire can release toxic smoke. So I suspect that if you inhale molten flaming ABS plastic, the health effects would be very harmful indeed.

Re:Panic inducing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339977)

Not to mention I'd still take sitting in a room with a 3D printer over sitting in traffic behind a diesel bus all day. Emissions controls still haven't done much for the amount of soot those things are allowed to emit.

That last sentence is a really nice teaser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44338595)

Detecting the rate of generated nanoparticles when burning scented candles? Wait, I hear the investment coming, we are going to get rich!!!

Absolute FUD (2)

galadran (1099427) | about 9 months ago | (#44338723)

"Cooking on gas or electric stoves and electric toaster ovens was a major source of UFP, with peak personal exposures often exceeding 100,000 particles/cm and estimated emission rates in the neighborhood of 10 particles/min."

So in other words, a toaster puts out 10x more UFPs. Nothing to see here folks.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20087407 [nih.gov]

Re:Absolute FUD (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339179)

It isn't FUD, it is just science.

There is a danger operating them just like any appliance that burns things and it should be noted.

Add proper ventilation and the problem should all but disappear.

Re:Absolute FUD (5, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 9 months ago | (#44339265)

Yes, Like 100% of laser printers on the market, which use a polystyrene based toner powder, and are potentially much worse for you than that reprap ever dreamed of being.

Since not only does the laser printer flash heat and fuse the toner powder to the paper and release styrenes and other organic nanoparticles into the air [worksafetyhub.com.au] , they also frequently leak, and pose a significant powder inhalation hazard!

In other words, if you don't find your laser printer in the file room terribly dangerous, you shouldn't find the 3d printer any more so.

Mmm, yeah, real dangerous (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | about 9 months ago | (#44338745)

Right up there with frying food or scented candles. We'll get back to you on that, sure.

Right up there with frying food or scented candles (3, Funny)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 9 months ago | (#44338895)

Medical science has been saying for YEARS that frying Scented Candles is bad for your health.

Re:Right up there with frying food or scented cand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339123)

Medical science has been saying for YEARS that frying Scented Candles is bad for your health.

But breaded fried candles are part of my heritage!

Re:Right up there with frying food or scented cand (1)

KitFox (712780) | about 9 months ago | (#44339347)

Medical science has been saying for YEARS that frying Scented Candles is bad for your health.

Which is worse though, frying them or eating them fried? Obviously more healthy poached.

Wait...

Don't tease the participle just because it dangles. It can get some blue pills for that and then you'll be sorry!

Re:Right up there with frying food or scented cand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339415)

What about the next big thing from Boeing, flying Scented Candles?

Americans submersing in ignorance again. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44338755)

Every time there is a potentially harmful substance, Americans get this complete knee-jerk reaction that there never ever could be any kind of harm in the history of mankind, and it's all just fearmongering by tree-huggers/environmentalists (a word that is actually *bad* in America, just like everything "social" and with "love" is hated with bile and brimstone).
Because the big companies that control their delusion of a free will told them so, to be able to continue abusing them.

Have fun with your asbestos and Roundup, you morons!

Re:Americans submersing in ignorance again. (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 9 months ago | (#44338805)

:)

Yeah, I take my chances of cooked lentils over melted plastic.

Re:Americans submersing in ignorance again. (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 9 months ago | (#44339443)

:)

Yeah, I take my chances of cooked lentils over melted plastic.

:) :)
Tell me when you get to the "cooked lentils 3D printing" level.

Re:Americans submersing in ignorance again. (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 9 months ago | (#44339657)

Will be awesome when you can 3dprint your food. Even better when the matter is brought into existance from energy (or maybe not depending on what's easier to come by =P, use sand or trash as raw material, turn it into energy and use the energy to make whatever matter needed for the food? Fine for me.)

Re:Americans submersing in ignorance again. (1)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#44338921)

At least ,we're not all a bunch of chicken littles. As to this so-called "knee jerk" reaction, it's worth noting that the concerns of the story are pretty stupid. The human body and its teeming hordes of parasites (such as dust mites and viruses), for a near and dear example, is a huge generator of harmful nanoparticles. We call this stuff names like "dust allergies" and "communicable diseases".

Re:Americans submersing in ignorance again. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339037)

People used to say the same thing about asbestos. Also, the types of materials used in 3D printing are not the same as dust and pollen and other "natural" particles.

Re:Americans submersing in ignorance again. (1)

Chrontius (654879) | about 9 months ago | (#44339219)

Lactic acid, however, is an intermediate ion the energy metabolism of eukaryotic (AKA your) cells; it's produced as a fermentation by-product, which can then be broken down into CO2 + H2O in the presence of oxygen to extract remaining energy.

I'd go out on a limb and suggest that PLA is pretty damn "natural".

OK so what this means is... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 9 months ago | (#44338829)

They need to be enclosed and have a ionized air filter...

Re:OK so what this means is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44338865)

Need to wait on the 'putting fume-generating equipment in a box to make it safer' patent to expire before doing that though,

Re:OK so what this means is... (1)

EETech1 (1179269) | about 9 months ago | (#44339583)

Need to make an open source ventilated box with exhaust duct project you can build without violating any patents for any specific uses for such a device.

No, that is not an enclosure for my RepRap, due to workspace restrictions I am forced to have the two projects occupy roughly the same area on my bench.

Re: OK so what this means is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339063)

Enclosed with a filter will also help with the next step, 3-D printers that also paint an object.

How do they compare to pollen? (5, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | about 9 months ago | (#44338853)

How do they compare to pollen? Are they full of spiky little projectiles that want to burrow into my nasal cavities and cross-polinate with my mucus membranes to create a giant mutant dandelion in my head? No? Then I'm not... ahh, ahhhhh, AH-CHOO!, sniff. worried.

Re:How do they compare to pollen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339541)

Pollen is too big to enter your brain.

Compared to breaking seals or toys (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44338929)

Every time my kids break a plastic toy they are, no doubt, emitting plastic nanoparticles. Every time I crunch a milk jug in the trash or use a plastic comb I'm emitting plastic nanoparticles. Every time I snap open a plastic garbage bag or sit on my old polyester-upholstered sofa I'm emitting plastic nanoparticles.

Have you ever looked at the layer of paper dust around a printer?

There better be a lot of these particles emitted, or they won't be of much concern to me.

So if they make UFP (1)

vlad30 (44644) | about 9 months ago | (#44339061)

Can they be made to place the UFP? I know they process is currently uncontrolled however a little engineering could make 3D printing even more interesting

+1 Informative (0)

D1G1T (1136467) | about 9 months ago | (#44339079)

So open a window or turn on a vent fan when you use a 3d printer. Good to know. Those of us with existing respiratory issues actually do appreciate hearing about unexpected sources of crap in the air.

Re:+1 Informative (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 9 months ago | (#44339665)

How in the world is off-gassing and emission of particles even remotely unexepected when you're heating plastic??? It seems a little education might help your respiratory issues.

Relative dangers? (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | about 9 months ago | (#44339093)

Sure, it may put out the same amount of particles as more common things, but I imagine they're different types of particle. The site is dead so I can't check, but is there anything said about the relative dangers of one particle compared to another? I'm sure, for example, nanoparticles of plastics are much more hazardous than nanoparticles of burnt toast.

Re:Relative dangers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339245)

Well, asbestos is confirmed as a dangerous carcinogen due to its properties as a nanoparticle. On the other hand, bacteria are also nanoparticles and we've been digesting them harmlessly for all of history.

Re:Relative dangers? (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 9 months ago | (#44339359)

I'm sure, for example, nanoparticles of plastics are much more hazardous than nanoparticles of burnt toast.

Given the long-known harmful effects of soot, and the newly-discovered harmful effects of carbon nanoparticles, that would seem a spectacularly unsafe assumption.

They want funding... (1)

dinther (738910) | about 9 months ago | (#44339329)

Another lot of "Researchers" wanting to use scare tactics to get funding.

"Additionally, more controlled experiments should be conducted...."

I like to see the testing results in a wood shop or metal shop. Let them measure nano particle emissions when using spray cans or how about a simple inkjet printer?
Suddenly the world is full of "Harmful" nano particles. Scary things you can't see or prove easily always good for a good scare.

We need a nano tax to stop the inhuman crime of nano particle emission. I want to see Greenpest protesting against nano pollution. Get your banners out morons.

Re:They want funding... (1)

plover (150551) | about 9 months ago | (#44340503)

I want to see Greenpest protesting against nano pollution. Get your banners out morons.

Yes, that's it! They should wave microscopic banners protesting the nanoparticles! We could use a bunch of protestors as a sort of Maxwell's Demon, to use their tiny signs to bat away the bad nanoparticles while admitting the good natural nanoparticles.

Oh crap (1)

kilodelta (843627) | about 9 months ago | (#44339339)

So I cook and own a laser printer. I'm screwed. But last printer is another room, door closed.

Re:Oh crap (1)

EETech1 (1179269) | about 9 months ago | (#44339545)

Just letting those laser printer nanos collect in the room so you can get them all when you go in to get your printouts.

You need to think of your heath man...

OMFG (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 9 months ago | (#44339469)

melting plastic results in fumes, gee go figure, glad we wasted our collective tax money on yet another "NO FUCKING SHIT" study

OhMiGawd! (1)

pla (258480) | about 9 months ago | (#44339663)

Oh... My... Gawd!

I use a gas or electric stove on a nightly basis! Some nights I even *sobs* barbecue!

Wow. So these things make slightly less nanoscale dust than most 2D printers (which, inkjet or laser, make dusting your bookshelf look practically good for you). Call me when the liberal media stops trying to spread FUD about "gun printers".

Where this research should have gone... (4, Insightful)

GrpA (691294) | about 9 months ago | (#44339717)

Yes, smoke sometimes curls from the printhead. No surprises there. Usually, there's not much, but hey, ABS chemicals aren't exactly a health-product.

What I would have liked to have known though is whether the use of covers ( eg, stabilising temperature and keeping the workpiece enclosed ) make any difference.

There is actually benefit to using covered printers, so it wouldn't be that difficult to add some filters to them would it? It's an entirely practical approach too, since plastic fumes are always worth avoiding.

And the use of less emotive terms for smoke would have been nano-appreciated.

GrpA

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44339819)

Enclose the printer and add a fan and a nano-filter. Done. Government conspiracy mitigated just like that.

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