While modern day safety regulations and procedures have been put in place to ensure that dangerous chemicals are not used when manufacturing envelope glue, over the years there has been an increasing number of concerns about the health risks surrounding licking envelopes.
Although there are only a very small number of reported cases, it is possible for tiny pests to lay their eggs on the adhesive used on the envelope as a result of poor conditions and manufacturer hygiene.
According to recent reports, 20% of the public do not wash their hands after they use the restroom or after coming into contact with household pets. Because of this, if the envelopes are in a public setting, the risk of contamination is significantly high.
A latex allergy, affecting approximately 4% of the UK, can cause anything from skin blistering, rapid heart rate to nausea and reddening of the skin. Latex can be found in many envelope glues, so those who are affected by this allergy should use other methods of sealing the envelopes.
Although the edge of envelopes are slightly curved and semi-blunted to help prevent paper cuts, it is still possible, and as a result of this it is important that precautions are taken to ensure no harm is caused.