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Never Lick an Envelope and Other Cautionary Tales

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Where have these envelopes been?

Where have these envelopes been?

A hidden surprise in the glue on your envelope?

A hidden surprise in the glue on your envelope?

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.

**********************************************************************************

Wash before using!

Wash before using!

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.

Soda Cans

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!

Water Fountains

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.

Pens

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!

Comments

Myles on December 24, 2013:

"wear house "

Warehouse.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 08, 2013:

Thanks so much for your visit Kasman. Watch those soda cans. :)

Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on February 08, 2013:

Makes me wanna wretch! I used to lick envelopes when I was younger, then I got wise. This may sound bad, but when I did drink sodas, I rarely ever cleaned one. I clean soup cans all day long, but for some reason, I didn't think to do soda ones. Very informative hub, voting this one up!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on November 25, 2012:

LOL Rain Defence! I don't like them either.

Rain Defence from UK on November 25, 2012:

This is disgusting. I have had cans before that have got dusty tops and usually wipe those before drinking, but I often forget. What a nice image of a mouse relieving himself all over it beforehand.

I hate roaches with a passion, if I found roaches in a box I'd probably freak out, kick hell out of it then start crying.

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on September 24, 2012:

Hi Tammy... some scary thoughts running through my mind after reading this and breaking every rule over the years. Where have these products been before we get them... thought provoking... well done.

Hugs from Canada

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 14, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by barbergirl. This is a scary tale. :P

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on September 14, 2012:

Ok - totally grossed out now... kudos to you. I always hated licking envelopes and I usually try to pawn it off on someone else. That being said, washing off my soda cans is not something I got into the habit of doing. I guess I better change that. Great informative hub!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on August 11, 2012:

It is nice to meet you Mr. Love Doctor. I have heard horror stories about stuff like this, especially from people from other countries that don't have anything close the the USDA. That is a little frightening! Who would guess there was anything worse than cockroach droppings. Thanks for sharing this and contributing to the cause.

Mr Love Doctor from Puerto Rico on August 11, 2012:

There's a little Dominican cafeteria downstairs at the building where I work my day job, and the owner always hits my can of Coke with a blast of steam from his espresso machine wand before he hands it to me. One day I asked him why he did that. He told me, "Porque allá en la República murieron conocidas mias por el cólera transmitida en las latidas que se limpiaban en aguas negras." (Because when I was a kid in the Dominican Republic I knew people who died from cholera they got from cans that had been washed water polluted with sewage.) His aversion to cans runs deep!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 11, 2012:

Thanks for reading audraleigh... and I offer my apologies. :)

iamaudraleigh on July 11, 2012:

Eeeeeeeeeeeek! I never lick envelopes for the yucky taste...now I am never going to lick them for anything!!! An informative and...lol! Gross ub Tammy! Voted up for scaring the *hit out of me!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 10, 2012:

Well Lord de Cross, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Thank you for the compliment. :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 10, 2012:

I am glad you don't RealHousewife. It just isn't worth it! :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 10, 2012:

Me either moonlake! Thanks for your visit!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 10, 2012:

Thanks Jeff Gamble!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 10, 2012:

Envelopes can be a real heath hazzard Kelleyward. :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 10, 2012:

Thanks for reading Josh. Watch out for paper cuts! :)

Joseph De Cross from New York on July 10, 2012:

Too late for me. I licked some of my share...but did survive. Yuck! Thanks for unearthing thie beauty Tammy. It sure has your magnetism. Great article!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 10, 2012:

As I started reading the bulb went on and I was like "I remember this one!" good one! I still don't lick envelopes:)

moonlake from America on July 10, 2012:

Tammy, Lots of good advice. I have peel and stick now but when you buy birthday cards, mail in bills they are not peel and stick. I will never lick another one. Voted Up and shared.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 10, 2012:

Thanks Victoria Lynn! I appreciate the share!

Jeff Gamble from Denton, Texas on July 10, 2012:

I just checked all the envelopes I have to make sure they are peel-and-stick - sound advice Tammy, to practice common sense before putting something in your mouth - great hub!

kelleyward on July 10, 2012:

Yuck!!!! I knew envelopes had gluten but cockroaches. Thanks for the these useful tips! Take care, Kelley

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 09, 2012:

Tammy,

That is some crazy information! Who knew? I most certainly didn't until now :) I am lucky to still be alive! No but seriously, great information and thanks for the share!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on July 09, 2012:

Ugh, I have heard that about soda cans and envelopes. This is an interesting and useful hubs that many people should read. Gave it lots of votes and am sharing!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 30, 2012:

Bless your heart QudsiaP1! Apparently we eat spiders in our sleep too. I guess none of us are worse for wear. Thanks for sharing your story!

QudsiaP1 on June 30, 2012:

Disgusting but true. As a matter of fact; I have had the unfortunate experience of something similar. I was early at the office before any of the staff and decided to go fill my water bottle with water from the cooler. I was too busy to notice that a tiny roach managed to slip in and it was after I had practically drank much of the water that I noticed it.

Needless to say I was sick to my stomach about it but my colleagues told me that they had experienced the same. Some even joked about it as I swore to never drink from the cooler again.

ElleBee on June 09, 2012:

Apparently i'm a walking illness waiting to happen. I think I've done all of these things numerous times in the past few days. yuck, yuck, yuck!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on April 17, 2012:

Thanks Cass! :)

Cass on April 17, 2012:

Ewww nasty I'm never licking an envelope or drinking out of a soda can again

HubTub on March 20, 2012:

Always my pleasure, Tammy! Nice to know I am not the only one who suffers from OCD...lol.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on March 20, 2012:

Thanks for sharing that Hub Tub. The older I get, the more OCD I become about such things. I appreciate your visit and sharing.

HubTub on March 20, 2012:

I always use tape to seal envelopes and figured the tops of soda cans were probably not the cleanest, but I never knew it was this bad, until now!! Well, my OCD just took a leap forward, but all for the better. :) As far as the pen-in-mouth, I just cringe when I see people doing this. It makes me physically ill. Thanks for sharing! Voted up, across the board, and SHARING!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 21, 2012:

Wow 4FoodSafety. You know a lot about these things. I would love a bottle refilling station if it means people don't put their mouths on them. What a great idea! Thanks so much for visiting and sharing!

Kelly Kline Burnett from Fontana, WI on February 21, 2012:

tammyswallow,

Awesome! Voted up! One item I must share with you - the water fountains were the first to develop lead removal in their water filtration. Yes, most drinking fountains aka bubblers do have filters. I can only speak for the Elkay fountains which is the world's largest and leading manufacturer.

Elkay just introduced a new invention - a bottle filling station. And I just caught a glimpse of an outdoor version.

I was very ill when I was age 4 - the doctor said my mouth hit the drinking fountain and caught a terrible virus. Moral of the story - never touch your mouth to the outside of the drinking fountain.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 20, 2012:

That is funny Curiad! Thanks for the humor!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 20, 2012:

Noooo Sunshine625! I licked one the other day because I was out of tape. Oh well, what doesn't kill us will make us stronger!

Curiad on February 20, 2012:

laughs, we tell our kids all the time, "don't put that XXX in your mouth" but do we listen to our own advice!

Thanks for the great Hub!

Voted UP

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on February 20, 2012:

Each time I accidentally lick an envelope I think of this hub. I gag. I'm absent-minded at times. Duh.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 15, 2012:

Now you know PDX! Thanks for the visit!

Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on February 15, 2012:

who'd a thunk it?

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 01, 2012:

Thanks PDXKaraoke Guy! Now you know why they used those. They new something... :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 01, 2012:

Thanks Cloud Explorer! You must have a background in health. You make some excellent points here. I don't know much about this science except that one is supposed to keep their blood away from the acidic side cause that is where cancer grows. Great thoughts and a sound warning. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on January 31, 2012:

damn, i put all these things in my mouth. I'm like a child when it comes to mouthing things. damn sayonara.

I used to work in a bank and we used liquid envelope sealers. I always thought that was silly...

Mike Pugh from New York City on January 31, 2012:

Yes putting things in your mouth are definitely a huge issue especially those things that aren't edibles. If certain foods today are considered slow killers, placing stuff like ink, and glues, and wasted cans of soda and especially after the chemical process of oxidation has occurred in an open can.

Bacteria is one thing to worry about, but blood ph is a huge factor in everything, because of the oxygen levels our blood cells must maintain to keep our immune system up.

You can be looking for serious blood ph issues if consumption of these items occurs as you've stated here, this is the sure way of you're blood cells instantly being submerged into the acidic poisonous red zone, thus leading to disease or death. Your on target with this hub in every way, voted up & away.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 21, 2012:

Hahaha Seanorjohn! You crack me up!

seanorjohn on January 21, 2012:

Oh no, I wish I had read this hub before I had drunk this can of coke which is kill....................................

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 19, 2012:

Benoitsmidget,

Wrapped straws.. That is something to be thankful for! Glad you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for your visit!

Cathylee Melchin from Boston on January 19, 2012:

I will definitely be thinking twice before I ever put anything in my mouth again. Thank goodness for wrapped straws! Great informative hub.

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2012:

Thank you Tammy. People will follow just about anyone just to get followers. I speak from Experience! The only thing you can really sell online is yourself. (Not in a perverted way!) Our writings and publications may be catchy or trendy, but it is what is inside the articles that we write that makes them get visitors and comments over time (think Evergreen Content!)That is how we develop friendships.

You are one of the exceptions on HubPages. You have been here only a few months and have managed to produce great content and awesome comments and feedback to your Hubs. It took me over a year to get where you are. Don't you ever stop!

Don't worry about your score. I didn't even hit 80 until I was published for over a year. It will always fluctuate and that is normal. Forget HubberScore. Worry more on publishing new content and the rest will fall into place. That is what I am working on myself these days. (I used to have a 98 HubberScore. I think that I followed too many too fast and didn't publish for a while. I learned not to follow people just to get followers!) It's all about the journey!

Keep up the great work!

JSMatthew~

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 18, 2012:

I know exactly what you mean JS. The first week I started I felt good about myself cause people wanted to follow me. Most of them were just selling things..lol. I had to clean my list out too. My score hasn't totally recovered yet. But, I have met some really wonderful people here and it is a lot of fun. Thanks for your support and I love your work as well!

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on January 18, 2012:

Hello again Tammy! I worked at the GAP when I was a teen and I know what you mean! Glad to be a Hub Buddy! I have recently been deleting people I follow that are not active or who publish stuff that I am not interested in or don't leave any comments on other's Hubs. (At one point I was following over 3,000 people! Brought my HubberScore down too!) I also turned notifications on, in the Facebook Hub Hoppers Group. These actions have helped me find people and Hubs I want to read and comment on without tons of useless notifications! This is a process...

JSMatthew~

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 17, 2012:

Beth,

That is actually a very good idea with the meat. I think I will do that too. There is no telling if it has been dropped. Over thinking these things can drive a person insane...LOL! Thank you for your thoughtful comments. It is nice to meet you here on hubpages!

Beth100 from Canada on January 17, 2012:

ha ha ha sorry, have to laugh at all the "ewes" out here!!! I haven't licked an envelope since I was little! My mom taught me to NEVER put anything in my mouth that wasn't washed with hot water and wiped with a clean towel (or paper napkin). Good thing I listened!! Or, I'd be sick to my stomach!!! What you encoutered in the warehouse is DISGUSTING! And for your boss to tell you to "kick it a couple of times" is even more absurd!!! o.O

There's one other thing I do that is odd, according to everyone else: I wash all my meat before preparing and cooking it. Like fruit, you never know what's visited it while it's hanging, or sitting waiting to be butchered and wrapped. With this thought, I'm going to head to my "bubble of clean" and recover from the thoughts of what walked over my dinner plate at the restaurant! :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 17, 2012:

Thank you for reading J.S,

I wash my clothes too before I wear them. I didn't when I was young and dumb.. then I worked in retail and saw exactly what they go through! These are more than Urban Legends! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. You are a great hub buddy!

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on January 17, 2012:

I have heard of all these things and it is disgusting! My niece always warns me to wash the top of soda cans before drinking because she read an article about someone dying from this. I always wash my clothes before I wear them when I buy them at a store. Very useful and I appreciate you sharing! Voted up and shared!

JSMatthew~

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 14, 2012:

Thank you time2write! It is just so hard to say where anything could have possibly originated from. It isn't worth the risk. Thank you so much for reading!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 14, 2012:

Thanks Melovy,

What a clever idea! That is a great reason to be afraid of envelopes.. Yikes! Thank you so much for stopping by and don't lick anything.. LOL!

Kathryne Waller from Knoxville, TN USA on January 14, 2012:

Aaaaand this is another reason I stay away from soda and use water on my finger to seal an envelope. I have incurred the dreaded paper cut to the tongue; no more! Ew, ew, ew! Thank you for sharing as I'm sure there are many out there who would never think about such things.

Yvonne Spence from UK on January 14, 2012:

I’ve been wary of licking envelopes for years, ever since I read a short story in which a character put poisoned gum on an envelope. Although I didn’t really think that would happen, it made me realise how unhygienic it is, and now after reading your hub I definitely won’t be licking any more.

Thanks for sharing.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 11, 2012:

Hi Vocalcoach,

Thank you for stopping by! It is scary.. It has to be so bad in countries with goverments that don't monitor food safety. Can you imagine?? YUUUUUCCCCKK... I always enjoy your comments!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on January 11, 2012:

OMG!!! I knew nothing about this. Never again will I lick an envelope or drink from a soda can. Never! Thanks tammy...oh gosh...yes, thankyou. Voted up!

vocalcoach~

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 11, 2012:

Thanks Veronica! LOL.. You crack me up! I appreciate your visit and especially your humor.

Veronica Roberts from Ohio, USA on January 11, 2012:

Oh gross. I chew pens, and occasionally lick envelopes. Awesome. lol

The last line is definitely my favorite for a multitude of reasons. "It is best to always practice common sense when it comes to putting items in your mouth!"

Voted up, useful, funny, & shared!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 10, 2012:

Thanks for reading Nell. It is difficult material but even worse if we don't heed the warning. Good to see you!

Nell Rose from England on January 10, 2012:

Hi, I know what you mean about envelopes, I worked in an office, and one of my jobs was to stuff the envelopes with letters, and did they stink! phew! and the dust went up our noses and made us sneeze! I knew there was a reason too why not to drink out of a can! yuck! rats cockroaches dirt dust, I think I am getting an allergy just thinking about it! lol!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 09, 2012:

Thank you for reading Marc Babineau and fpherj48! I appreciate you both taking the time to read this and to comment!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 08, 2012:

Sorry JoshuaDR.. it is very scary! Thank you for reading and commenting.. and no more pens! I appreciate it!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 08, 2012:

Thank you for your visit Poetvix!

JoshuaDR from Charleston, SC on January 07, 2012:

That's a little disturbing. I tend to chew on a lot of things, especially pens. I pretty much stopped licking envelopes after Susan died licking them on Seinfeld.

Voted up and interesting

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 05, 2012:

Thanks for reading Real Housewife,

One day I will write a hub about some of my bosses.. lol.. thank you for reading and careful licking. You crack me up!

poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on January 05, 2012:

OK, this was "icky" in that while I knew better than to do any of these things, I never knew the extent of the "icky" that could be found on any item you mentioned. Ewe does not begin to describe it. Thank you for the affirmation. The next time someone laughs at me for sponge wetting an envelope I'm sending them here!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on January 05, 2012:

Tammy - I am the nut that had to mark a funny in additon to everything else. When you said your boss told you to kick the box and make sure they all ran away? OMG!

"I did as I was intructed" LOL Am I the only insane one because I was rofl!

You are preaching to the choir in my case - I am always griping about hand to mouth contact. EW! I literally cringe when I see someone with a pencil or pen in their mouth! yuk mannnnnn! lol

Hub was up and everything!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 05, 2012:

Chris,

You are a hoot!! You are hub pages man of steel! Thank you for bringing your sense of humor to this topic. It is always a pleasure to see you!

Chris Merritt from Pendleton, Indiana on January 05, 2012:

I kind of feel like 007, or a Navy Seal. I now know for certain, I have dodged death!

I know I have licked over a 1000 envelopes and drank thousands of beverages from cans, drank serveral gallons of water from fountains, and stuck several pens in my mouth over the coarse of my lifetime...yet, here I am!

I'm feeling pretty darn macho right now..

actually, I'm feeling a little nausea right now...maybe a little feverish! I think my tongue is swelling!

I, I, I, fffeel a, uh little d, ddizziy.................

sorry,

actually, these are really good things we should be aware of....

It does only take a second to clean a can or tape an envelope.

Informative and SCARY!

Thanks,

Chris

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 05, 2012:

Thanks Alastar,

These things should be common sense.. but.. I guess so many people are stuck in their unhealthy habits. :) Thanks for the read. It is always a pleasure to see you!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 05, 2012:

Thanks Homestead Bound,

Paper cuts are another reason not to lick an envelope. Ewwweee.. I need to start watching Mythbusters.. Thanks for reading!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 05, 2012:

Epigrammman,

Thank you for your visit and the insight.. ;).. I always love to see you!

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on January 05, 2012:

Except for chewing on a pen a time or two thank goodness theres been enough sense not to put the lips or tongue in the wrong place. Never really thought about roaches, rats and their fall-out before though. Thanks for the reminders here Tammy, who knows, you might even save a life with this article.

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on January 05, 2012:

I quit licking long ago, the taste was so unappealing to me, and the paper cut on the tongue was so uncomfortable.

Saw a Mythbuster's show where they were testing the urine of the rats on the tops of soda cans, and their test disproved the myth, but I'm still am not sure. I like Just Ask Susan's advice - use a straw.

epigramman on January 05, 2012:

...yikes!!! and double yikes!!!! I guess my licking days are over - lol - and I will turn into Howard Hughes after reading this enlightening and informative hub subject - although there are a few things I would still like to lick but we must keep this (and any other hub PG rated - lol lol lol lol lol)

.....thank you again my divine Tammy for your hard work here and another engaging and inspired hub ...... have a wonderful day and please keep in touch - lake erie time 12:44pm

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 05, 2012:

Thanks Business Time! I appreciate your comment!

Suzie from Carson City on January 05, 2012:

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!! Tammy, thanks (I think, lol) Most envelopes I buy these days are the self-stick, thank heavens....and I always TRY to remember to run hot water oever the top of any can. BUT, now I'm on SUPER-watch!! YUK!! OMG....Cockroaches, germs, disease. Barf.

Marc Babineau from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City on January 05, 2012:

Uhm... all i can say is... ewe!

Sarah Kolb-Williams from Twin Cities on January 05, 2012:

Oh yikes!! Definitely staying off the bubbly. It's a sad truth that the only food/drink you can be sure of is the food/drink you make at home yourself.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 04, 2012:

Oh No Millionaire.. That is REALLY disturbing. I don't drink much soda... but now I think I will drink NO soda.. Thanks.. I think.. :()

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 04, 2012:

Hi gregorium,

It is sure to give you the Heebie Jeebies.. It makes me queasy to see people drinking from cans.. Thanks for stopping by~

Shasta Matova from USA on January 04, 2012:

I had a teacher who was touring a soda factory, and saw a rat inside one of the vats - yes in the soda. The soda itself isn't safe even if you clean the can.

Deninson Mota from East Elmhurst, NY on January 04, 2012:

I never drink soda directly from the can. Some of them smell like roaches. I actually don't drink sodas at all. I never drink water from the fountain. I have seen many people reaching their mouth all the way. Ewwww that's nasty.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 04, 2012:

Rob Bell,

That brings up even more possible contaminates. It has to taste so bad because the smell is unreal.. Ewwee.. that is a good point too. Thanks for sharing!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 04, 2012:

Rosemay,

Cool photo.. what kind of dog is that? Ewwee.. cockroaches seem to be nastier than mice. I'd have to research that.. but Ewwweeee... Thank you for stopping by!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 04, 2012:

Ouch Alcosin! That could get infected.. a GREAT argument for this cause. Good to see ya!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 04, 2012:

Hi Alicia,

I can't imagine seeing someone who would brush in a fountain.. ewwww.. That makes it twice as scary to think of what they are doing to it when you are not looking.. Yikes! It is nice to meet you here on HP and I look forward to checking out your work!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 04, 2012:

Hi SanneL,

After my work experience I do too. And fruit. So many people don't wash fruit before they eat it. Scary! Thanks for your visit!

Rob Bell on January 04, 2012:

I know someone who drank from a can and immediately their face began to swell up. Turned out a mouse had urinated on the cans when they were in the shop.

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on January 04, 2012:

A great hub and well written.

I recently read that cockroaches spread nearly 33 different kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and are a major trigger of asthma in children at school. So it is important to teach our children how to avoid these health hazards.

Thank you for bringing this to everyones attention.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on January 04, 2012:

I don't lick envelopes because I got a cut on my tongue once from the flap. Ouch. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on January 04, 2012:

I'm scared to use a water fountain now, even though I've always been skeptical especially after I saw a guy in college brushing his teeth in one.

Envelopes, I've heard the urban legend about the lady who had roaches growing inside her neck after licking an envelope and this is further confirmation of why I will not lick an envelope but find another way to get the job done. EWWW! I think I'm going to have to purge my brain and wash my hands. Thanks for the info though!

SanneL from Sweden on January 04, 2012:

I've been washing food and drink cans for years, knowing of the sanitary problems.

Thanks for a great article!

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