3D Printers, Nano Materials and Other “New” Materials Pose Potential Health Risks


With the development of new ways to work and play come new ways to get in trouble. Seemingly innocuous common activities, such as using a laser printer, have been the subject of lawsuits we have been called upon to handle. NIOSH has recently published an article reporting on the emission of particulate material from a 3D printer and the potential adverse health effects. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/research-rounds/resroundsv1n12.html#a The research calls for following manufacturers' recommendations and controlling emissions. The investigators recommend the following five specific steps:

  1. Always use the manufacturer's supplied controls (full enclosure appears more effective at controlling emissions than a cover).
  2. Use the printer in a well-ventilated place, and directly ventilate the printer.
  3. Maintain a distance from the printer to minimize breathing in emitted particles, and choose a low-emitting printer and filament when possible.
  4. Turn off the printer if the printer nozzle jams, and allow it to ventilate before removing the cover.
  5. Use engineering measures first, such as manufacturer-supplied equipment and proper ventilation, then use materials with lower emissions. Finally, wear protective equipment, such as respirators.

Governo Law Firm has represented clients in toxic tort, chemical exposure and indoor air quality claims for three decades. We regularly follow scientific, medical and legal developments in toxic tort claims, including asbestos, chemicals, lead and mold. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact David Governo at [email protected].