Know-How: Toner technologies: Environment and health
It is known that many toners for laser printers contain various toxic substances such as aromatic hydrocarbons, which are volatile and may be released during the printing process. A remedy can be a particulate filter, as it has been tested by Druckerchannel(The article is available in German only).
Aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene and phenylethene can affect the nervous system and internal organs. They also have the reputation of being carcinogenic.
An alternative: Organic Toner
The amount of oil needed for the production of toner powder is huge - it is believed to be about 550 million liters annually. The US-based company PRC Technologies has developed a "bio" toner based on soybean oil called "SoyPrint"
A resin consisting of soybean oil is extracted from renewable resources, and replaces the present resin particles. Toner powder consists of about 40 percent of resin particles, which ensure the fixing of the toner to the paper.
A conventional toner in a toner cartridge contains two to three liters of petroleum products, depending on toner content. The toner based on soybean-oil is said to be of comparable quality as conventionally produced toner.