Carbonless Copy Paper Causes Skin Irritations
Most people who work in offices probably feel that their jobs are pretty safe; the only machinery around tend to be printers, copiers and fax machines, and sharp objects usually include scissors and perhaps a letter opener. Basically, working a desk job seems to be risk-free. So the idea of obtaining skin irritations and respiratory tract problems from paper seems hard to fathom. Research, however, shows that carbonless copy paper does pose a health risk.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has outlined the potential health problems posed by exposure to carbonless paper. In some conditions, exposure has resulted in minor skin irritations, eye irritations, and irritations to the upper respiratory tract.
Workers who handle or manufacture carbonless copy paper may be exposed to chemicals such as kerosene and formaldehyde. The first connection between paper and skin irritations was reported and investigated in the 1970s. At the time, researchers thought the reactions were due to the toxicity of the paper. But in some cases, the skin irritations may be caused by an allergic reaction, and, for some workers, a sensitivity to carbonless paper appeared to develop.