Q.1118: Can coming in contact with paper hurt you? Will chemical (if any) in Paper transfer to human body if contacted?
Ans. Paper stock preparation and Paper Machine approach flow system is prone to presence of microbes. The circulation water also contains biodegradable dissolved substances, with the pH and temperature being highly favourable for microbial activities. Microorganisms develop very rapidly, particularly in the closed loop systems of Paper Machines. The biological agents include microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses.
During drying of paper when the wet web comes in contact with heated dryer cylinders, almost all microorganisms died except heat resistant spores such as Bacillus, Brevibacillus, and Paenibacillus.
Research also shows that even the finished paper gets easily infested with bacteria such as E-Coli, Staphylococcus, Salmonella and Pseudomonas if handled frequently by many people.
Practically both paper and cotton undergarment are made of cellulose fiber. If you have no problem with cotton undergarment which touches your body directly for a good part of the day, touching of newsprint, book and/or other paper are not going to affect you.
Paper is made of cellulose fiber coming from wood. Touching paper is less harmful than touching wood furniture or any other surface.
Some bleached paper may have some residual chlorine but it is much less than residual chlorine left in a cloth treated with chlorine bleach, washed and dried. So if you have no problem with bleached cloth, you should not have a problem with bleached paper.
Though food should not be left in contact with paper which is not designed for storing that type of food. Food grade papers have special treatment and/or barrier coating.