3D Printer Emissions
The use of 3D printers in industries from manufacturing and healthcare, to construction and education, is exploding. A game-changing technology for many industries, 3D printers offer companies an opportunity to quickly visualize, develop and produce custom products of all kinds on demand. However, with dozens of filament types and a process that may, if not properly vented, release high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air during use, 3D printing has moved into uncharted territory with regard to its potential impact on human health.
Where does this matter:
With our indoor environments minimizing ventilation and natural ventilation becoming almost non-existent due to energy concerns, managing indoor air quality is incredibly important. Just like furniture, flooring and cleaning products, 3D printers emit chemicals into indoor air, which may have a negative impact on indoor air quality. It’s important to understand how these devices may potentially impact human health knowing that poor indoor air quality may cause short-term and long-term health effects such as:
- Allergic Skin Reactions
- Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
This is why we need to develop habits for handling desktop semi-professional 3D printers that are used in schools, offices, or any indoor environment has minimized ultrafine particulate and volatile organic compound emissions. UL 2904 helps organizations design their environments by providing measurement and assessment protocols for emissions of particles and volatile chemicals from diverse 3D printers, print media and print applications.
Stakeholders seeking to mitigate indoor air pollution risks associated with desktop semi-professional 3D printers purchased or brought into the school should specify that 3D printers be certified to UL 2904, the only standard method for testing and assessing particle and chemical emissions for 3D printers.