A new report from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has disclosed that 3D printers can emit particles that could enter a person’s airways and lungs and this could be harmful to health.
According to the report, which is called ‘Measuring and Controlling Emissions from Desktop 3D Printers’, FFF 3D printers can release particles into the atmosphere because these desktop-type printers do not have any way to control or capture these particles. The report also revealed that some 3D printers have plastic filaments that when heated release hazardous vapours.
The solution suggested by the HSE is straightforward. Workers do not have to wear protective workwear masks, as an enclosing hood is sufficient to remove at least 97% of the particles.
Businesses that do not follow the HSE guidelines on 3D printers could contravene the regulations designed to safeguard people working with machinery and hazardous materials. This could result in prosecution by the HSE.
Kora 3D has developed suitable enclosing hoods which have filter cartridges designed to remove emissions that could be harmful. Steve Burrows, Kora 3D’s managing director, says:
“It’s clear that FFF/FDM style 3D printing is a growing sector and one which offers fantastic benefits to the business. However, our four-year study alongside the HSE has confirmed the importance of having a greater understanding of the equipment and the need to pay more attention to safety management.”
The HSE has tested Kora 3D’s printer enclosure to make sure that it is effective in protecting workers who use 3D printers.