Is It Safe to Use the Copy Machine While Pregnant?

The modern world presents us with a great number of hazards that we didn’t have to face just 50 or 100 years ago. Everything from mercury in fish to concerns about pesticides raises the eyebrow, especially for the pregnant woman. This is normal and natural, of course. You want for your pregnancy to go as smooth as possible, and you want to come out the other end in good shape and with a happy, healthy baby.

Our jobs pose some of these concerns to us. For example, depending on the kind of work you do, you may be exposed to certain chemicals or other hazards that can be dangerous for your baby. Even if you work in an office, you may not be entirely immune to environmental hazards.

You may even need to think about using a copy machine while you’re pregnant.

One concern in regard to copiers while you are pregnant is ozone. Ozone is highly toxic, but it has a half-life of just six minutes. The amount of ozone produced by a copy machine is minimal, and usually happens when the drum material breaks down during transfer to the paper. It’s also produced by the photocopier lamp and its ultraviolet emissions. Usually, this is not a problem, because the amounts are small. However, if your copier is in a room with very poor ventilation, it’s possible to have a buildup of ozone.

Toner dust is another concern. Toner dust can irritate your respiratory tract. Older toners used to have certain carcinogens in them, but today’s toners have been rid of these chemicals. In addition, the resins in toners can cause allergic reactions to skin.

Finally, women who work with copiers may need to be concerned with noise while they are pregnant. High speed copy machines can be loud, which adds to stress and can disrupt concentration. While these things don’t directly affect your health, they can exacerbate your already-high pregnancy state of emotions.


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