Is Envelope Glue Bad For You?
While it isn’t dangerous by itself, envelope glue may be contaminated. It’s best to stick to self-adhesion envelopes.
View Full Grading System
'N' stands for neutral. Things placed into this category are (a) neither good nor bad for you, or (b) lack the necessary evidence to reach any conclusions.
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Side effects are rare. Things rated an 'A+' are typically necessary for survival (for example, water).
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. A few harmful qualities may be associated, but only under certain circumstances such as an allergic reaction.
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Harmful qualities may be associated, but aren't usually serious.
It is important to note that even the best things in life can become bad in immoderate amounts. So, although something may be rated an 'A+', overconsumption/overdoing can bring unwanted effects.
Very beneficial to your health. Things rated a 'B+' may have a few harmful qualities to pay attention to.
Overall beneficial to your health. Things rated a 'B' may have some harmful qualities to pay attention to.
More beneficial to your health than not. However, harmful qualities are most likely associated and shouldn't be overlooked.
The main difference between category 'A' and category 'B' is the harmful qualities typically present in 'B' items. Serious side effects are usually uncommon, but are still possible and should be taken note of.
Both beneficial and harmful qualities associated. Things rated a 'C+' are typically a bit more on the beneficial side. Still, moderation is important.
A fairly even ratio of beneficial and harmful qualities. Moderation is important. Very general topics that can lean towards both sides of the spectrum will be placed here as well. Rice, for example, can be good or bad depending on the type.
More harmful than beneficial. Side effects are common, especially when consumed/done excessively. Moderation is very important.
Category 'C' usually denotes to both good and bad qualities. When it comes to this category, it is important to keep this word in mind: moderation.
Harmful to your health. Although benefits may be associated, the bad most likely outweighs the good. Moderation is very important.
Harmful to your health. A few benefits may be associated, but the bad outweighs the good. Moderation is extremely important.
Harmful to your health. Very few, if any, benefits are present. Things in this category should be avoided as much as possible.
Category 'D' is typically for things that are more harmful than beneficial. While consuming/doing something unhealthy once in a blue moon shouldn't hurt, we definitely recommend eliminating 'D' items as a regular part of your routine/diet.
Category 'F' is for things that fail to bring anything beneficial to the table, and are very harmful to your health. We recommend completely avoiding anything in this category. Long-term side effects of 'F' items are usually very serious.
'N' stands for neutral. Things placed into this category are generally (a) neither good nor bad for you, or (b) lack the necessary evidence to reach any conclusions.
Rumors abound about the dangers of licking envelope glue – from dirty water being used in the manufacturing process to cockroach eggs being a part of the glue, leading to a full-grown cockroach being cut from a woman’s tongue during surgery. Fortunately, these stories are just hoaxes aimed at scaring the general public. The truth is, most envelope glue is made from gum arabic, an ingredient you may recognize from an M&Ms package. Gum arabic is edible and safe. Some envelope glue is made from petroleum-based chemicals as well, but these are also safe.
Knowing that envelope glue is probably safe doesn’t mean you should start licking envelopes now. It is still possible for small pests like dust mites to lay eggs in the glue and industrial malpractice can increase the risk of infestation and contamination of toxic chemicals and/or pathogens. Furthermore, according to a disturbing study, around 20% of Americans do not wash their hands after using the bathroom – a number that quite possibly includes those responsible for making the envelope glue. Another risk is getting a paper cut, which while very rare is still possible. Lastly, people with latex allergies are at risk of having an allergic reaction when licking envelope glue if it is made with gum arabic.
To finish off with a fun fact: You consume 3-5 calories every time you lick an envelope.
Possible short-term side effects
- various illnesses from contaminants
Please turn your Ad Blocker off to see this content. Thank you!