3Printer Toner Fumes Might Be as Bad as Cigarette Smoke
The next time you're standing in front of the office laser printer, waiting for spreadsheets, or schematics, or your LARPing league handbook copies to finish copying, keep in mind that as that son of a bitch chugs away, it's shooting out a toner-filled gas that could have severe respiratory consequences. And it could be as bad as cigarette smoking.
Except it doesn't guarantee you a break every hour.
A study conducted with 62 of the most popular printers discovered that up to 30 percent of them emitted dangerously high levels of ultrafine toner particles. The particles being as small as they are, they have no trouble being inhaled into the smallest passages of the lungs. And this kind of office pollution is widespread: One area of research was an office in Brisbane, Australia. It was found that the fine particle count inside the workplace was three times higher than outside, right near a damned highway.
This is the safest place to work in Australia.
The type of particulates and nature of risk fluctuated with each type of printer, and scientists aren't completely sure why. Scientists believe it's a mix of the age of the printer and how the lasers work with the toner cartridge, and also some science and stuff. Whatever it is, it's proven that laser printers contribute to a five-fold increase in particulates during workday hours. While the home office isn't as busy as a functioning workplace office, it could be worse still, due to a more closed environment and poor ventilation. It's just you and your printer, sitting there, sharing its powder farts.
"That wasn't me ... that was, uh, Ted."
2Video Games Cause Way More Injuries Than Should Be Possible
Whatever the downsides of video games -- lack of exercise, increased urge to shout ethnic slurs at strangers a continent away -- we don't think of it as a particularly dangerous activity. You might think that the introduction of full-body gaming via the Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect probably brought on a rash of injuries due to flailing Wiimotes connecting with the heads of sibling spectators, but that was surely offset by all of the great exercise those kids were getting. But the truth is way stranger.
It's actually senior citizens taking out patronizing game journalists.
In a study conducted from 2004 to 2009, they found about 700 injuries stemming from video games that were severe enough to require medical attention. And get this: The motion-based games only accounted for 13 percent of them. The rest, mostly finger, hand and wrist ailments, were from traditional "sit 'n' press buttons" game play. We're just shocked that this many patients were willing to admit that to a doctor.
"The doctors say you've suffered severe pwnage to both of your arms. They want to amputate."
Now, 700 might not sound like a huge injury toll considering how many people play games, but if we had had to guess at how many people had injured themselves sitting completely motionless and tapping thumb buttons, we'd have figured a dozen at most.
Not that motion gaming is off the hook here -- it has led to a whole other category of injuries of their own. In the first full year of motion gaming, from 2007 to 2008, injuries from video games immediately rose 214 percent. Most of these were from overexertion or being whacked with the remote. But it doesn't stop there. While you wouldn't even think of real bowling as a sport that could injure you unless you dropped the ball on your foot, the completely ball-less Wii Sports bowling has led to multiple cases of patellar injury and even early onset carpal tunnel.
Wii Shanking has to be the worst culprit.
Meanwhile, the Wii Fit balance board has caused numerous ruptured Achilles tendon injuries. The Kinect sports titles have resulted in tons of ailments, including bursitis and tendon and ligament inflammation. This is what happens when older people, and normally sedentary gamers, are all of a sudden flitting around the room. Nobody is warming up first or wearing shoes made for exercise, and they're quite frankly not used to the motions. And, because it's all happening in a game, they probably figure there's no way they can really injure themselves throwing an imaginary ball.
But at least motion games are getting us in shape, right? Actually, no. While gamers suffer the kind of injury the athletes of the world put up with, they're not getting the benefits. In one motion gaming study, it was discovered that kids who owned motion games didn't, on the whole, get any more exercise than the ones who played the "sit and stare at the screen" variety.
It was discovered that executives who play motion games are 80 percent more likely to look like tools in bad suits.
And, if you're a PC gamer who took a break from playing World of Warcraft on your laptop to read this article, we have even worse news ...