Should I Wash My Hands After Using a Self-Adhesive Stamp?


Only if it’s a “forever” stamp. :eek:

Seriously, what horrific toxin/contamination are you worried about?

As long as you have a functioning immune system, you probably don’t need to wash your hands anywhere near as often as you think you do. In fact, by trying to maintain too sterile of an environment, you may be depriving your immune system of regular exercise, so to speak, and you could be making yourself more prone to things like allergies, and you may be weakening your immune system in general.

I’m not saying you should never wash your hands. You definitely want to wash your hands before and after preparing food, after handling garbage, after going to the bathroom, or if your hands are really dirty…

But after handling stamps? My first thought was to question whether or not you suffer from OCD.

Don’t take offense. I know nothing about you other than this post.

What the hell for? Seriously. Assuming you don’t wash your hands after every time you touch any object, what about a self-adhesive stamp raises this question?

Are you old enough to remember when stamps had to be licked? Did that trouble you?

If your work bathroom is anything like my current work bathroom, you’d do well to bathe yourself in self-adhesive stamps after every visit.

I’ll echo what engineer_comp_geek said about not trying too hard to keep a clean environment. In fact, I’ve thought of this often and one of my friends even came up with a name for it. The “Ben Herman Contamination Hypothesis.” The hypothesis states that a little deliberate contamination helps the body keep the immune system in shape. The Ten Second Rule is part of the BHCH.

No cites, no science. Just my personal take on the subject.

Well… there is this sticky stuff on them. Let’s say you peel off a stamp, the stuff gets on your fingers and then you eat something with your fingers. No big deal?

Are you asking if you should wash your fingers if you get adhesive on them? Yes, if you don’t want stuff to stick to your fingers.

Are you asking if you should wash your hand before eating? Yes. Postage stamps have nothing to do with that, though.

No big deal.

I do have to take issue with this. Washing one’s hands is the single most effective action most people can do to prevent the spread of disease. Note that I did not say “most effective action…to keep you from getting sick”. For all intents and purposes, once pathogenic microbes have made it to your hands, you are exposed and, therefore, “infected”. Research has shown that most people will touch their face (mouth, eyes, and/or nose) an average of over 3 times per hour. In addition,
touching of “common items” (items that are used by you as well as others) will occur more often than that. Most people don’t wash their hands nearly that often (and, really don’t need to), but it does show that trying to keep yourself away from “germs” is an almost impossible task, and obviously not necessary, as most people are not sick all the time.

If you wash your hands frequently, however, you will greatly reduce the number of pathogens you carry from being spread to others. This is particularly important during flu and cold season. Contrary to what is implied above, frequent washing your hands will not make you more susceptible to getting sick. And, as just asserted, frequently washing your hands is unlikely to prevent you from getting sick. But, everyone washing their hands frequently will greatly reduce the number of people who do get sick.

If you go to the patient rooms in a hospital today, you will notice hand-washing stations either in every room or prominently available in common areas, with signs recommending people to wash their hands before and after visiting any patient. Contrary to what a conspiracy theorist may want you to believe, this is not a plot by big pharma to lower the average person’s immunity to disease. No, it is a concerted effort by the hospital to lower the spread of disease and to remind people that it is everyone’s job to achieve that goal.

Now, I believe that ECG’s intent was more aimed at germophobes who feel an irrational need to wash and sterilize everything in sight. Such behavior is self-destructive and really should be addressed with professional help. My point is, as I started with, you need to wash your hands frequently to keep others healthy, not you.

If stickers were toxic, I doubt we’d hand them to kindergarteners as much as we do.

Maybe we don’t like kindergarteners? :wink:

My own kindergartener has been in contact with enough sticker self-stick adhesive in the 5 years of her life that if it were any kind of hazardous, she’d be dead.

Even more true of her 11-year-old siblings. And still more so for her (now adult) eldest 3 brothers.

I guess I don’t see what kind of hazard OP is envisioning. None that I’m familiar with, any way.

Unless you’re George Costanza’s fiance from Seinfeld. :smiley:

Do you wash your hands after using tape? (any kind - scotch tape, duct tape, first aid adhesive tape, etc.)

Okay, new question. How the hell do you get the stuff on your fingers? I’ve handled plenty of self-adhesive stamps and never had the adhesive stay on my skin.