Brother printers have long been a staple of the retail and retailing world, but the popularity of their inkjet printers has prompted a debate about whether the technology is worth the high price tag.
A new study published by researchers at UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins universities found that the inkjet ink cartridges are less durable than those used in conventional printers, and also make the cartridges more prone to bacterial and chemical contamination.
The study found that “biohazard” is the first ingredient in inkjet cartridges and that a typical batch can contain between 10 and 50 percent of pathogens.
“In addition to bacterial contamination and other potential contaminants, some of the bacterial and fungal pathogens found in Brother Printing’s cartridges are also present in traditional inkjet cartridge products, including some that are also found in most consumer-grade printers,” the researchers wrote in their study, which was published on Thursday in the journal PLoS ONE.
“The Brother Printer cartridge may be less susceptible to microbial contamination than some other inkjet printer cartridges, but these bacteria and funcos are present at levels that may not be acceptable for everyday use.”
The study analyzed 1,200 samples of inkjet printing cartridges from the Brothers Printers and found that most of them contained at least some pathogens, including salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, and the bacteria E. coli.
In addition, Brother Prinners had a wide variety of viruses, including viruses associated with the coronavirus.
The study found more than 1,000 different viruses were found in the Brother Printery cartridges, and nearly one-third of them were in the bacteria formaldehyde, the active ingredient in E.coli aerosol sprays.
According to the study, Brother printers do not have the ability to use an inkjet inks that would require the cartridge to be cleaned prior to use, and therefore, “Bread, sugar, and oil products are generally not recommended.”
The researchers also found that Brother printers were less likely to use biodegradable cartridges, such as those made by the company Pura, that contain plastic beads that absorb chemical reactions and are often found in consumer products.
“These products are less susceptible than Brother Prints to bacterial or fungal contamination, but are still subject to contamination from many common household products, such to cleaners and dishwashing detergents,” the study noted.
“These biodegradation processes, which often require repeated use, may make Brother Print cartridges less durable and more likely to contaminate with bacteria and fungi.”
The scientists suggested that Brother Printering could be using the ink to manufacture new types of cartridge products.
“Brother Printers have developed new inkjet technologies that are capable of producing cartridges that are less prone to microbial contaminants and potentially more sustainable,” the authors wrote.
“We hypothesize that Brother has the potential to produce new cartridge products with less impact on the environment and have the potential for further development of these products.”
A Brother printer cartridge, as shown in this picture, can be reused several times for different products.
source Bloomberg Business articleThe researchers concluded that Brother would need to spend more time and resources on developing new cartridge technology, but they suggested that this could be done through “a partnership with other inkJet printers.”
“We recommend that Brother undertake a collaborative study with other manufacturers of inkJet cartridges,” the scientists wrote.
“This study does not address whether Brother would be willing to partner with other companies to develop a cartridge that would be less costly to produce, but it does suggest that Brother could be willing and able to participate in a collaborative project to develop an inkJet cartridge that is more durable, recyclable, and recyclizable, and that does not pose a risk to the environment.”