§ Mr. Kemp
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he has taken to assess the possible effects upon users of continued exposure to(a) ozone emissions and (b) hazardous chemicals and pollutants produced by office (i) photocopiers and (ii) laser printers; and if he will commission research into the effects of long-term exposure to photocopiers and laser printers. 
§ Angela Eagle
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently reviewed in detail the scientific evidence on potential health effects of occupational exposure to ozone. The evidence was presented to the Working group on the Assessment of Toxic Chemicals (WATCH) committee, a tripartite committee of experts in occupational health, in 1995.
WATCH agreed that the lead health effect of ozone is irritation of the upper respiratory tract. Based on the results of studies in human volunteers, WATCH recommended that an Occupational Exposure Standard (OES) of 0.2 ppm (15-minute reference period) should be established in the UK for ozone. This recommendation was endorsed by ACTS (Advisory Committee on Toxic Substances). Thus, within the UK there is now an OES for ozone of 0.2 ppm (15-min reference period).
In relation to exposure to ozone from photocopier machines, short-term (i.e transient) exposures of far below 0.1 ppm occur in normal circumstances. At these levels there is no risk of development of any health effects in office workers in the vicinity of photocopier machines. However, if there is inadequate general ventilation, it has been estimated that exposures up to 0.5 ppm can occur. As long as photocopiers are situated in locations which have adequate general ventilation, ozone concentrations will remain far below the level at which there might be any risk of irritation in office workers.
HSE has issued guidance on ozone (EH38 revised, published 1996), which indicates that working with photocopy and laser printer machines is a low risk activity. As long as there is adequate general ventilation, there will be no risks to health from emissions of substances from these machines.
Photocopy toners are fine powders which have a faint plastic odour. There is an extensive body of experimental research results from studies conducted at a number of laboratories throughout the world, into the potential health effects of a range of 16 different commercial photocopy toners. This research has been evaluated within HSE. This evaluation indicates that photocopy toner dusts are lacking in any specific toxic properties.
Occupational exposure to photocopy toner dusts has been assessed by HSE. This report indicated that even under worst-case scenario conditions (a print-shop operator working continuously for 8-hours and carrying 305W out two maintenance procedures during that time), the total exposure to respirable photocopy toner dust would only be 0.0014 mg/m3 (the term "respirable" indicates the airborne fraction which is capable of reaching the lungs).
Overall, it can be concluded that working in close proximity to photocopy machines including carrying out maintenance procedures involving changing toner cartridges etc, will carry no risks of lung damage or other effects on human health in relation to the inhalation of toner dust.
As with other forms of electrical machinery, frequent use generates heat. Thus, photocopy machines should be kept in well ventilated areas as a common sense precaution to prevent the build up of heat which might lead to discomfort in workers in close proximity to such machines.
Emissions from laser-printers are anticipated to be similar to those from photocopy machines, and hence the information provided above should be of relevance in this regard.