March 6, 2020
You may want to wear a mask like the one above if you have to get anywhere near printers.
Working in an office is supposed to be safe working environment, but appearances are often deceiving. In a new discovery that emphasizes just how hazardous seemingly benign modern equipment can turn out to be, researchers from West Virginia University have discovered that microscopic nanoparticles from laser printers may change an individual’s genetic and metabolic profile if inhaled. These changes can seriously increase one’s risk of cardiovascular and neurological disease.
Who knew your office’s printer could be so dangerous? The research team came to their conclusions after placing rat models into the same confined space as a typical laser printer. For a total of 21 days, the models stayed in the space for five hours daily, during which time the printer was running continually.
“It’s equivalent to an occupational setting,” explains study leader Nancy Lan Guo in a university release. “A rat’s life expectancy is about one or two years. In our life, that would be more like four or eight years of five-hour-a-day exposure.”
“The changes are very significant from day one,” she adds.
During the experiment, the rats’ lung cells and blood were habitually (every four days) examined in order to determine if their genetic makeup had been influenced by the toner. The examination was comprehensive; every single gene in the rats’ genomes were analyzed.
After just a single day of close exposure to the toner, the rats’ genes linked to metabolism, immune response, and additional important biological processes exhibited clear signs of disruption. After the full 21 days, clear genomic changes associated with cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurological disorders were observed in the rats.
“I don’t want to alarm people,” Guo clarifies, “but special ventilation and exposure controls should be installed in rooms where laser printers are in heavy-duty use, because the concentration of nanoparticles released in the air during the printing and copying process is strongly correlated with the printing activities.
What a sick thing to say: “Oh, your office job is causing serious damage to your genes and metabolism, which increases your risk of dying a horrible death. But I don’t want to alarm people.”
I do want to alarm people.
It is insane that most of Modernity is literally out to get everyone in multiple ways, damaging their hormones, their genes, their reproductive organs, their neurons, their skin — pretty much attacking from all fronts — and the experts sit there and say “well, what are you gonna do?” while shrugging their shoulders.
We should be tearing all of this down.
But perhaps the genes that would have allowed for us to get fired up about this and defend ourselves were already compromised by Modernity.
Pregnant women, especially, should be aware of these findings.
“In particular, there is one group I really think should know about this: pregnant women. Because once a lot of these genes are changed, they get passed on through the generations. It’s not just you,” Guo says.
Since the experiment involving rats, Guo and her team have also examined genomic changes seen among a group of Singaporean printing company workers. The workers’ genomes largely changed in the same ways that the rats’ did.
“And they’re very young. A lot of the workers ranged from 20 to their early 30s, and you’re already starting to see all of these changes.” Guo concludes. “We have to work, right? Who doesn’t have a printer nowadays, either at home or at the office? But now, if I have a lot to print, I don’t use the printer in my office. I print it in the hallway.”
What are women — let alone pregnant women — even doing in the workplace in the first place?
They should be kept in the safety of a cage.
What about non-pregnant women though? What about the men?
Is everyone working office jobs really going to turn into a mutant?