In earlier machines, toner was poured by the user from a bottle into a reservoir in the machine. Modern machines feed directly from a cartridge. Empty cartridges are sometimes refilled by third party vendors. Using toner cartridges against the laser cartridges is beneficiary. The laser printer toners are able to print thousands of pages, and are less expensive per page compared to inkjet cartridges. The printing speed is faster than inkjet cartridges while they almost work on every type of paper. In due course, they prove to be much economical if a lot of printing work is involved. A compatible cartridge benefits you with cost savings and at times massive savings up to 50%. It all depends upon your requirements to utilize these toner cartridges to enhance your printing. Basically there are 2 types of cartridges, originals and non-originals and there are 2 types of non-originals being compatibles and remanufactured (this goes for inks also as does the information below). Otherwise known as non-genuine, after market this is how they work:-
- Compatibles are actually a brand new cartridge manufactured to work in the same way (without breaking the trademark, copy protection laws) as the same original cartridge with the same machines. The benefit you gain from these is obviously cost savings with at times massive savings up to around 50%. The downside is they are not as environmentally friendly as remanufactured toners and there are the occasional failures and complaints about lower quality (though failure rates for the top companies making these are within industry norms and not significantly higher than those of the original manufacturers themselves)
- Remanufactured toners however are a little different as they take an empty original (it should have only been used ONCE) and fill it with toner. As long as you buy from a reputable retailer it will have also been checked to determine if parts need to be replaced as well as toner refilled. You also get good cost savings as you do with compatibles but the environment wins out big time as you helping ‘close the loop’ by reusing an empty original. Once again the same applies as above with quality and failures.
As a fine powder, toner can remain suspended in the air for some period, and is considered to have health effects comparable to inert dust. It can be an irritant to people with respiratory conditions such as asthma or bronchitis. Following studies on bacteria in the 1970s that raised concerns about health effects resulting from pyrol, a contaminant created during manufacture of the carbon black used in black toner, manufacturing processes were changed to eliminate pyrol from the finished product.
According to recent research, some laser printers emit submicrometer particles which have been associated in other environmental studies with respiratory diseases .