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Healthcare: Brother expounds on third-party cartridge “risks”

February 1, 2019

In an article written for HospitalHealth by Brother International Australia, the OEM has been describing the “risks” involved in using third-party cartridges for printers in clinics and medical practices.

Brother writes that while, “As a whole, Australian medical clinics are very good at meeting their obligations and responsibilities”, something that can be overlooked is the toner used in their printers. Brother states that if the wrong toner is used, this could “be a bigger potential hazard than even the drugs administered and prescribed by the clinic.”

Likening ‘generic’ third-party toner to generic drugs, Brother says the appeal of such toner cartridges lies in their low cost of purchase; but, the OEM continues, “there isn’t the same legal or regulatory oversight in the production of toner, and this potentially creates significant problems”.

Brother says there are two principle risks involved in the use of third-party, the first being leakage. The OEM says it compiled a report testing its toner against “the quality of 10 third-party toners designed to operate on Brother’s platform”, and the third-party toners demonstrated “a significant trend of toner leakage”, with the report stating, “At the end of testing, Brother was the only toner cartridge brand to leave the printer in a clean condition. Without exception, all third-party brands tested left toner deposits inside the machine.”

A secondary risk was cited as smudging, caused by the inability of the third-party toner to bond “properly” with the page.

As a result of both these risks, says Brother, “third-party toner supplies are not good value for money” as the residue they leave behind in printers means the machines have to be cleaned more often and replaced more frequently. The OEM continues, “the average third-party toner brand was tested to only produce 38 percent of the printed yield of Brother toner cartridges.”

In terms of healthcare environments, Brother warns that “poor-quality toner cartridges” can “introduce toner particles into the air and to people via contact.” Breathing in large quantities of these particles “carries a risk of irritation to the respiratory system, increased difficulty in breathing, sneezing and coughing.” Brother also says that if it comes into contact with eyes this can result in “eye irritation” while ingested toner can trigger stomach ache.

Brother Commercial Manager, Luke Howard, said, “Some Doctors or Office Administrators at clinics have the perception that generic toners go through the same stringent manufacturing and approval process as first-party toners,” adding, “They’re used to expecting safety and reliability from generic drugs, and expect the same to be true in other areas.

“In order to maintain the health safety standards of a clinical environment, it’s important to purchase genuine consumables from the original manufacturer,” Luke went on. “In order for toner to fuse onto the page correctly, the compound of the toner is designed to be fused at the temperatures that is set in a laser printer; this is something that only the manufacturer can properly test during the manufacturing process.”

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