Businesses and Institutions in Puerto Rico Learn About 3D Printers and Potential Exposure Hazards
Zimmetry Environmental provides air testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify respirable hazards to protect workers and the public.
Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- It wasn’t many years ago that the cost of 3D printers made their presence in a school, university or business in Puerto Rico unique and special. Today, however, three-dimensional printers have become almost commonplace as the technology advances and costs decrease.
The popularity of 3D printers has raised respiratory concerns with a growing number of health and safety professionals. These concerns are based on the fact that these printers are known to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ultrafine particles into the air when they are in use.
In fact, earlier this year, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH) published a study entitled “Is 3D Printing Safe?” The study revealed that four common filaments (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polylactic acid (PLA), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and nylon) were all found to emit VOCs. This occurred even at temperatures below the printing temperature.
“Since 3D printers are routinely found everywhere from research laboratories in schools, universities and businesses to factory floors and even in some people’s homes, it’s important that people use them correctly so they are not exposed to respirable hazards,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “When used correctly in a large, well-ventilated room with proper filtration, exposure concerns may not be great. However, 3D printers frequently are not setup in this manner and this is when there can be exposure and health concerns. At Zimmetry, our indoor environmental quality and industrial hygiene professionals provide air testing and monitoring services to identify inhalation concerns, including VOCs and particulate matter. We also provide ventilation and filtration expertise to help resolve or prevent indoor air quality issues of all types.”