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Breathing means living

Welcome to the Website of the International Foundation nano-Control!
Particulate matter can be dangerous to your health—almost every child knows that by now. Most people think of diesel exhaust particulates and factory fumes. However, it is hardly known that the biggest risk comes from indoor air and that especially laser printers and copying machines can pollute our indoor air considerably and cause severe damage to our health. The international foundation nano-Control has got involved with healthy indoor air as well as research and elimination of the risks and helps people harmed. It is about your indoor air and your health. Please inform yourself and help us because breathing means living!




About us




International Press

- Prologue   - The foundation   - Help us    
- Short info   - Our projects   - Use our help    
- The problem   - Health & research   - Contact    
- Harmful substances in toner   - Projekt „Printing Safely“        
- State of research            

On the website you will find hints (not in English available yet).

If you have already suffered damage to your health, you get help on




Recollection of asbestos: In 1900, the industrial boom of asbestos started by patenting Eternit (cement asbestos) which was later used in more than 3,000 products. Already in the same year asbestosis was discovered as disease. In 1943, lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos was recognized as an occupational disease, but it was not until 1993 when asbestos was forbidden in Germany and not before 2005 throughout the EU. Worldwide up to now. Ten thousands of people will have to die torturously due to the results of asbestos.

Short info

The international foundation nano-Control has got involved with healthy indoor air. According to the European Commission, annually 266,000 people die alone in Europe due to a pollution with particulate matter. According to the World Health Organization, chronic obstructive respiratory tract diseases have become the most common cause of death—worldwide! In 1995, the U.S. Environmental Agency found out: “The biggest risk for national health comes from indoor air.” Anyhow, our policy has failed up to now to protect our indoor air. The result: Millions of people constantly inhale dangerous harmful substances, particulate matter and toxic nano-particles, e.g. of laser printers and copying machines. There is urgent need for action. Nano-Control will get involved with the research of the risks, their elimination and will help people harmed.

A global problem: toner dust and emissions of laser printers and copying machines

Laser printers are almost everywhere nowadays. But it is hardly known that these devices quite often pollute our breathable air with an unfiltered mix of harmful substances, particulate matter and nano-particles. Analyses regularly show dangerous harmful substances. The LGA Bayern (a public-law corporation in Bavaria), one of the most experienced measuring institutes, explained: “It cannot be denied that laser printers emit volatile organic compounds (VOC), ozone and toner dust during the process of printing.”

Even heavy metals have been detected regularly and more and more frequently organic tin compounds, like the ultra-toxic tributyl tin are found. Already in 2005, our Federal Environmental Agency detected high emissions of ultra-fine particles emitted by laser printers. Within the scope of the pilot study of the Gießen University, pollutions with particulate matter were detected continuously in the offices, which would—outdoors—lead to bans on driving. Every print job can increase the pollution with particulate matter considerably. The pollution with ultra-fine particles which have been partly identified as toner-typical heavy metals and volatile organic compounds is especially high. In 2007, an Australian study confirmed that a bulk of laser printers to some extent considerably pollutes our indoor air with ultra-fine particles. Peak values came up to cigarette smoke. Our Federal Office for Materials Research (BAM) detected a peak pollution of more than a billion particles after printing only one single page.

Within the scope of the studies of our Federal Environmental Agency, the Gießen University and Queensland University, laser printers of Hewlett-Packard and Kyocera were examined first of all. Harmful substances, dangerous particulate matter and nano-particles with a toxic impact end up in our breathable air unfiltered due to the air emission of laser printers. A special problem: The finer the dust is, the bigger the dangerous impact on your health. Furthermore, the tiny particles can infiltrate into skin and lung! For this reason, they arrive, for example, in the blood circulation after passing the alveoles and from there they infiltrate into the whole body and as a result also into all organs. The dangerous particulate matter and especially the ultra-fine nano-particles break all physical barriers like Trojans. They can infiltrate even into the brain ( and have a toxic and carcinogenic impact solely due to their enormous reactive surface. Scientific tests of human lung cells with brand toners carried out by the Gießen and Freiburg Universities even showed a genotoxic and cytotoxic impact; DNA and chromosomes were broken—the lung cells were destroyed. They are also held responsible for thromboses, heart attacks and apoplexia (Helmholtz Institute: dusty vessels).

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Harmful substances in toner and emissions of laser printers

The following substances have been detected in toners and emissions of laser printers and copying machines to a considerable amount:

  • metals: antimony, aluminum, ferrum, lead, gold, cobalt, cadmium, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, palladium, mercury, silver, silicium, strontium, titanium, tin, zinc
  • aromatic hydrocarbon: benzene, ethyl benzene, i-propyl benzene, styrole, phenol, xylol
  • organic tin compounds: dibutyl tin (DBT) and tributyl tin (TBT)
  • azoic dye
  • nitropyrens: 1-nitropyren
  • aromatic amines: o-anisidin
  • aldehydes: n-hexanal

The harmful substances in toners and their emissions vary from product to product. Obviously, there is no product safety!

Examples for pollution with harmful substances:

acute impact: slight irritation of eyes and skin; disorder of central nervous system (agitation, depression)
chronic impact: damage of hematopoietic system, causing leukemia
In the scope of the toner study of the Gießen University an increase in indoor air pollution with benzene by 20 microgram/m³ was detected when a Kyocera laser printer FS-1920 (toner TK70) was printing.

acute impact: irritation of eyes, respiratory tract, skin, disorder of central nervous system
chronic impact: irritation of mucous membranes, disorder of central and peripheral nervous system
In a Lexmark toner for HP Laser Jet 4/5 and for Canon EP-E the LGA Bayern ( a public-law corporation in Bavaria) has detected 30 mg/kg styrole (magazine Computerbild 8/00).

acute impact: irritation of the mucous membranes
chronic impact: lung damage on certain conditions when exposed to it
In a Hewlett-Packard toner the company Indikator GmbH has detected more than 1,100 mg/kg aluminum. In the scope of the toner study of the Gießen University aluminum was detected as a component of the so-called „nano bubbles“ on the ultra-fine level.

acute impact: irritation of respiratory tract, sensibilizing potential
chronic impact: skin damage in consequence of allergies
In a toner for HP Laser Jet 1010 the LGA Bayern has detected 120 mg/kg nickel (magazine Computerbild 19/2004).

acute impact: sensibilizing impact on skin and respiratory tract
chronic impact: reactions of respiratory tract in consequence of allergies or irritation, lung damage (fibrosis), allergic skin diseases
The Environmental Institute Hamburg has detected an amount of cobalt of 170 mg/kg in a Hewlett-Packard toner (C3903 for HP Laser Jet 5P/6P).

tin organic compounds:
Dibutyl tin (DBT) and tributyl tin (TBT) are toxic and hazardous to the environment.
The LGA Bayern has detected a tremendous peak value of 2,840 mg/kg tinorganic compounds in the Samsung toner ML1510 (magazine Computerbild 19/2004). TBT is a tinorganic compound which causes hormonal and immune damage even in tiniest measurable traces. It has a masculinizing impact by reducing estrogen and increasing testosterone. In autumn 2008, TBT was forbidden worldwide for ship coatings by the UN. DBT: This environmental poison interferes with the control of genes of the immune system by blocking the activation of a receptor important for the inflammation process. In toners of Konica-Minolta, Lexmark and Samsung DBT and TBT have been detected repeatedly.

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State of research
According to the state of research laser printers and copying machines can pollute the indoor air significantly with a complex mix of particles and harmful substances and the emissions are supremely different. There has hardly been any research into the crucial question of the impact on people although hundreds of millions of people worldwide are exposed to those devices. Famous scientists demand to do research on the impact urgently.

Nov. 2006: Mainfocus: Toner Emissions—Current State of Knowledge, Six Abstracts Presented by the German Scientific Journal 2006, Umweltmedizin in Forschung und Praxis 11, 2006 (5)

March 2007: aakkola MS, Yang L, Ieromnimon A, Jaakkola JJ:
Office Work, SBS and Respiratory and Sick Building Syndrome Symptoms, JPubmed, Occup Environ Med. 2007 Mar; 64(3):178-84.

01/08/07: Morawska L et al: Printer Particle Emissions Add up,
New findings underscore the effects of indoor air on human health, Environmental Science & Technology online

Pilot study of the Gießen University

10/12/07, TSI-Bibliography: Particle Printer Emissions Research

March 2008: Richard Gminski, Katharina Decker, Christina Heinz, Volker Mersch-Sundermann (2008): Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Effects of Three Representative Reprographic Toner Dusts and their Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) Extracts on Cultured Human Epithelial A 549 Lung Cells in vitro. Naunym-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology. German Association for experimental and clinical pharmacology and toxicology. Abstracts of the 49th Annual Meeting 11-13 March 2008, Mainz, Germany, Poster 413, p. 82

Aug. 2008: Wensing Michael et al: Evaluation of Ultrafine Particle Emissions from Laser Printers Using Emission Test Chambers. Fraunhofer Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut (WKI)

Adetunji H. et al.: Potential Occupational Health Risk from Exposure to Nano-Scale Particles from Photocopiers—A Pilot Study, 2008, School of Technology, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom

Feb. 2009: Morawska Lidia et al.: An Investigation into the Characteristics and Formation Mechanisms of Particles Originating from the Operation of Laser Printers, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2009, 43 (4), pp 1015–1022

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About us

The foundation

Nano-Control was founded in Germany in the City of Erfurt, Thüringen, on 19 April 2008 by 79 citizens. The reason were the diseases of many people caused by toner and particulate matter of laser printers and copying machines and the inadequate protection of the citizens by the state. The Government hat not learned anything from the scandals concerning asbest and wood preservatives.

The foundation has been involved with healthy indoor air and wants at first throw light on and stop the avoidable damages caused by laser printers. For this, nano-Control will inform the public, see to the scientific research of the risks, stand up for solutions and help the people harmed.

Chairman of the foundation is Hans-Joachim Stelting (age-group 1954, a pensioned detective, non-medical practitioner for Chinese medicine, first accepted case of respiratory disease caused by toner dust in Germany, founder of the Interessengemeinschaft Tonergeschädigter—an interest group of toner-harmed people).

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Our projects

I. Health and research

The foundation nano-Control

  • is—together with doctors, researchers, institutes, laboratories and hospitals—involved with
    • the scientific research of the risks to our health caused by emissions of particulate matter and nano-particles.
    • the development of accepted diagnostic methods and the therapy of harmed people incl. methods of rehabilitation.
  • supports scientific studies and commissions specific analyses.
  • has initiated the “Freiburger Kreis” (an association of famous experts and institutes of the areas toxicology, environmental medicine, industrial medicine, particle research and indoor air analytics) together with the Institute for Environmental Medicine and Hospital Hygiene of the Freiburg University Hospital. The Freiburg Association demands to finally investigate the impact of laser printer emissions on people. For this, a proposal for a new study has been worked out with which the impact can be investigated rapidly. The speaker of the Freiburg Association is Prof. Wolfgang Lingk, a former intoxications expert of the Federal Government.
  • makes an effort to convince doctor’s practices, hospitals and rehab hospitals to keep the patient area free from laser printers and copying machines.
  • has had toners analysed for heavy metals and has detected that the brand toners analysed have been polluted continuously, esp. with ferrum, aluminum, copper, manganese, chromium, zinc, tin, but also with cobalt, nickel and cadmium. The heavy metals of toners have also been detected in the blood and urine of people.
  • has had pulmonary tissue of a service technician who died of lung cancer analysed at the Rostock University for the first time. In this process, toner particles were proved in the lung cells. Further analyses will follow.

II. Printing safely

The foundation nano-Control carries out the project printing safely in cooperation with committed partners of research, economy, unions, associations and alliances in order to enable safe printing by concrete methods and developments and, for this reason, contribute significantly to an improvement of our indoor air and prevent damage caused to our health.

In order to protect yourself effectively against damage caused to your health, you should use ink-jet printers. Modern ink-jet printers are a safe, quick, powerful and increasingly even more and more economic alternative. Even for the business sector ink-jet printers are offered. Market leader Hewlett-Packard advertises: “The clever businessman is printing with ink.” If you don’t have the possibility of removing laser printers from your environment, you should try everything to minimize the pollution:

  • Avoid unnecessary printing.
  • Air your room as often as possible.
  • Switch off devices which are not required.
  • Leave the room when printing a lot.
  • In no case eat in rooms with laser printers, fax or copying machines!
  • Don’t lick your fingers when turning toner-printed pages!
  • In order to continue to minimize the emissions, we urgently suggest to apply professional filters. Unfortunately, not all toner devices can be filtered. The filter “micronAir office” of the company Freudenberg has been attested the most effective protection from particulate matter and toner dust by TÜV Nord (= a technical supervisory association). Up to 90% of the emissions can be kept back in this way and no longer pollute your breathable air.
You find much further important advice within our project printing safely, (not available in English yet).

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Help us to achieve healthy indoor air, because breathing means living! The foundation nano-Control has been involved with healthy indoor air and, therefore, also with your health. Help us with active work, with your donation or by becoming sponsor. Donations are primarily used for actual projects, the promotion of scientific work and research according to the purpose of our foundation. We would love to give you advice if you intend to promote projects regularly or if you intend to make large financial allocations to the foundation nano-Control. Allocations to our foundation can be made as external donation or contribution. An external donation increases the capital of the foundation; from those revenues long-term projects will be financed. The international foundation nano-Control has been awarded benefit to the public by the Local Tax Office Erfurt by means of an interim certificate of 5 November 2008. In Germany, the foundation is, therefore, accepted tax-privileged and is authorized to issue donation receipts that are allowed against tax. When it is about amounts up to 100.00 EUR, the remittance slip is also valid as receipt.

Bank details:
nano-Control, Internationale Stiftung, 
donation account no. 302 036 645, Sparkasse Bamberg, BLZ 770 500 00
International Bank Account Number (IBAN): DE91 7705 0000 0302 0366 45 SWIFT-BIC.: BYLADEM1SKB

If you have any questions, please contact us at any time.

Use our help

If you are constantly suffering from the snuffles, a sore throat, cough, asthma, inflammation of eyes or skin and you don’t know why, then it is possible that the toner of your laser printer or copying machine is making you sick.—Then you should desperately have that clarified. The Interessengemeinschaft Tonergeschädigter (interest group of toner-harmed people, will help you with your problem. Please send us a Message ! You will then get competent help and contacts for free.
In the scope of our project printing safely the foundation nano-Control also gives advice to companies.


Internationale Stiftung nano - Control ,
c/o Hans-Joachim Stelting, chairman
Immenhorstweg 100, D-22395 Hamburg
Phone +49 (0) 40 67998110
Fax +49 (0) 40 67998115

If you have questions or suggestions, please write a message via the following form. We will get in touch with you promptly.

This form will be available soon. Please use the link above to contact us.







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International Press


ABC-Science: Laser Printer Debate Heats up
How a laser printer heats up will determine just how many tiny toxic particles it emits, Australian researchers have found. ... [More ...]

The Hindu: Ultrafine Particles from Laser Printers Harmful to Health Sydney (IANS): Ultrafine particles emitted by laser printers, especially during the process of printing, are potentially dangerous to human health because they can penetrate deep into the lungs.
[More ...]

C2W: Heet van de printer

Security Laserové tiskárny ohrožují uživatele odpařujícím se tonerem

11-02-2009, The West Australian: Hotter Office, Home Printers Linked to Hazardous particles
The hotter a common laser printer gets, the more likely it is to spew out potentially hazardous “ultrafine particles“, Australian researchers have found. ... [More ...]

10.08.07, US Time Magazine: How Safe Is Your Printer?
A recent Australian study will have you think twice about waiting for those printouts—not for the sake of the paper, but for your health. In the small study, published in the Aug. 1 issue of Environmental Science and Technology, researchers found that nearly 30% of the 62 printers they tested—including laser printers from Canon, HP, Toshiba and Ricoh—emitted high levels of ultrafine ... [More ...]

10-08-07, US Time Magazine: Is Your Printer Making You Sick?
Laser printer emissions may damage your health, says a new study—not to mention the load of indoor air pollutants we're breathing 90% of the time … [More ...]

26-9-2005, Nederland 1, Tros radar: Tonerziekte    [ Uitzending ]
In Duitsland worden al honderden ziektegevallen erkend maar in Nederland is er totaal geen aandacht voor: Tonerziekte. Hoe gevaarlijk is het eigenlijk om in de directe nabijheid van printers, faxen of kopieermachines te werken?...