Your printer is bad for you.

That’s what Science Daily says. They’re reporting on the discovery by Lidia Morawska of the University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, that particles given off by laser printers are filling the air in our offices – and clogging up our lungs:

One of the printers released particles into an experimental chamber at a rate comparable to the particle emissions from cigarette smoking, the report stated.

Most of the printer-generated particles detected were ultrafine, Morawska said, explaining that such contaminants are easily inhaled into the smallest passageways of the lungs where they could pose “a significant health threat.”

“It wasn’t an area that we consciously decided to study,” Morawska said in an interview. “We came across it by chance. Initially we were studying the efficiency of ventilation systems to protect office settings from outdoor air pollutants. We soon realized that we were seeing air pollution originating indoors, from laser printers.”

The study found that indoor particle levels in the office air increased fivefold during work hours due to printer use. Printers emitted more particles when operating with new toner cartridges, and when printing graphics and images that require greater quantities of toner.