Carbonless Copy Paper
Compiled by Melissa Kaplan
Carbonless paper forms are forms, usually in duplicate or triplicate sets, wherein the papers are coated with chemical that will imprint a copy of what is written on the top form onto the layers of paper below. These forms are used in place of having to slip pieces of carbon paper in between forms. I first encountered them in 1975 when I was working in an office and put the new technology to work, creating many carbonless forms for use inside the office and when communicating with our clients. I eventually became hypersensitive to these forms, as well as carbon paper, photocopy toner, and Liquid Paper-type products (though I find I can tolerate the white-out products that come in a pen form, rather than a bottle). Carbonless paper has become ubiquitous in our society, found in receipt books, cash register tapes, credit card receipts, patient copies of bills from health care providers, and more.
In reading through many of the studies purporting to assess the validity of worker claims of reactions to CCP, I find that most are looking at reactions on the skin--contact dermatitis as a result of contact with the chemicals used in manufacturing the CCP. That's all very well and good, but what about those of us who get our reactions as a result of inhaling the fumes and transdermal uptake? I have never had any contact dermatitis from CCP as I do to photocopy toner and printing inks, and newsprint paper. I do start wheezing and get headaches.
Another way that CCP chemicals can get inside the body: the paper is handled by our hands, and the chemicals break off and circulate in the air and settle on surfaces throughout the room, heaviest where the CCP paper is in heavy use. The hands pick up the particulates and in turn transfer them to things that end up in our mouth. I used to process health claims and touched my coffee cup and the pens I chewed on with hands contaminated with CCP chemicals, not to speak of all the particulates that landed all over my desk and objects on my desk.
Failure of researchers to look at the broad range of symptoms, and to use what tests are presently available to detect abnormal immune system reactions to chemical exposure and allergens does the general public--not just those workers in CCP factories--a major disservice and is likely partly responsible for the ever-increasing numbers of peoplel reporting CI.
The following are some of the resources relating to carbonless paper sensitivities.
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