Office Equipment Emissions Subject of Report

Copiers, printers, computers, monitors, scanners, and fax machines can emit indoor pollutants that may result in poor indoor air quality. As manufacturers of electronic products design their products to meet green requirements for today's marketplace, verifying good indoor air quality performance is a must.

"Meeting Green: The Office Equipment Industry's Guide to Managing Product Emissions" serves as a manufacturer's user guide for understanding the types of indoor contaminants emitted from electronic office equipment and the health impacts associated with chemical and particulate emissions. It reviews the available third-party certification programs and their respective eco-criteria. In addition, the report discusses the technology and testing protocols for measuring chemical and particulate emissions and for establishing the health risks associated with these emissions. This Air Quality Sciences Inc., (AQS) report is available under Premium Content at www.aerias.org.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), for example, are known to cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; cough; headache; general flu-like illnesses; skin irritation; and some can cause cancer with repeated exposure. They also can produce odors that may be objectionable and may lead to headache, upper respiratory irritation, and nausea. Inhaling particulates can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation and increase the risk for respiratory infections and illnesses, such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

In response to these concerns and the growing market trend toward purchasing exclusively low-emitting products as a part of participation in the U.S. Green Building Council's guidelines and state and federal procurement programs, manufacturers are proactively designing their products to minimize VOC, ozone, and particulate emissions. To assist them in these efforts, they are relying on specialized environmental chamber technology.

"Manufacturers are finding that creating products that meet specific eco-criteria can be an important differentiator in the marketplace. Some manufacturers are going a step further and demonstrating compliance by earning third-party certification from GREENGUARD or Blue Angel. Results from AQS studies examining product emissions not only help manufacturers create safer products but also greatly assist them in achieving certification," said Marilyn Black, Ph.D., AQS chief scientist.

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