Never Lick an Envelope and Other Cautionary Tales
Always Consider Where Has It Been
As someone who has worked in mass media, I have sealed my fair share of envelopes. On the first day I was seriously warned to NEVER, EVER lick an envelope. This warning made sense as it usually a bad idea to lick any thing of unknown origin. Soon I had to go to the off site wear house to retrieve masses of envelopes for bulk mailings. I will never forget the scene as long as I live.
I lifted a box of envelopes and lo and behold.. cockroaches of different sizes scurried everywhere. I went back inside to make sure my supervisor knew about this.. surely he wouldn't want these boxes inside. He casually brushed my concerns aside and instructed me to "kick the box around a little" to make sure the all the roaches had run away. I did as I was instructed. I didn't particularly want to touch the envelopes, but a job is a job. Upon opening the box I found an even more disturbing find. The roaches were not only living in the box, they had laid their eggs.. inside of the glue in the envelope.
There are many stories or "Urban Legends" of people dying shortly after licking an envelope, contracting celiac disease, or getting a paper cut which would become infected by hidden surprises in the glue sealant. Whether or not these are coincidences, it is not worth your health to lick one. I would strongly suggest self sealing envelopes, using tape, or a water sealer.
Other organisms such as dust mites can also live in the glue of envelopes.
There is speculation into whether or not the chemicals in the sealant glue of envelopes are toxic alone. Diabetics should avoid licking envelopes all together because of the high gluten content in the paste.
Don't Put Your Mouth on These Items
Many of our everyday items have had a previous life in a warehouse before they come to us, the consumer. It is a good practice to wash and remove packaging before use.
Did you know that drinking soda from an unwashed can may lead to death? Sodas are packed and stored in warehouses before shipment and can have a very long shelf life here and in stores. In storage, it is common for rats to be in the storage units. Rats urinate and defecate.. often on the tops of soda cans. If consumed, the drinker can become very ill and even contract diseases such as Leptospirosis. This is a disease found in the urine and species of vermin. Animals can also be infected. Symptoms of this disease mimic the flu and then lead to a painful stiff neck. If untreated, this bacterial infection could be deadly!
Not only are water fountains a breeding ground for germs and bacterial (the button and the fountain) but water fountains installed as late as the 1990s have been found to be contaminated with lead traces. Many have lead pipes and fixtures that pose a special danger to drinkers.
It is obvious why you should not habitually put your pen in your mouth, especially if you work in a public place. Pens are harbingers of germs and bacteria.
It is best to always practice common sense when it comes to putting items in your mouth!
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