Warning: Being politically correct can be hazardous to your health

Ethel C. Fenig
So, some of the benefits of political correctness are better health and kindness to the environment according to pc gurus.  Tell that to those who have accidentally broken one of those pc low energy, pig tailed, mandated, compact fluorescent light (cfl) bulbs which contain decidedly non politically correct unhealthy mercury; dangerous to those poorly paid Chinese workers who make them, dangerous when inhaled, dangerous for the environment when rotting in land fills, perhaps dangerous for those prone to migraines triggered by their subtle flickering. 

But what happens if you end up in the hospital from the mercury, or any other reason, and then use the health facility's politically correct recycled paper towels?  Or use them anywhere else?  Uh oh! Not healthy.  According to Brenda Goodman of WebMD:
 
Researchers at Laval University in Canada tested six brands of commercial paper towels -- the kind doled out in many public bathrooms.

They found bacteria in all of them, but the towels made from recycled fibers were the most heavily contaminated.

"In our study, the concentration of bacteria in the recycled paper was between 100- to 1,000-fold higher than the virgin wood pulp brand," the researchers write.

Bacterial slime is known to be a problem at recycled paper mills, where it corrodes machines and may damage finished paper sheets.

Researchers say the new paper towel finding fits with other studies that have noted high bacterial counts in other kinds of recycled paper products.

Bacteria may thrive in recycled paper because it contains binding ingredients like starches and fillers that serve as food.
 
What kind of bacteria?
 
Most of the bacteria found in paper towels were Bacillus bacteria. Many Bacillus strains can produce toxins that cause food poisoning.

One brand of paper towel contained Bacillus cereus bacteria. In addition to food poisoning, B. cereus has been associated with infections of the eyes, lungs, blood, and central nervous system.

Although the found amounts of B. cereus probably wouldn't harm healthy people, researchers note it may be more dangerous for people who have weakened immune systems, like babies and the elderly, and for people who take medications that suppress their immune function.
 
All of this led the researcher Elizabeth Scott to "wonder about kitchen towels. These are put to all kinds of uses in direct contact with food, for example, covering and wrapping food," she says. "And what about facial tissues, which come into close contact with our eyes and noses?"
 
Ewwwwww!
 
What to do?  What to do?
 
Most experts still agree washing with soap (no room to discuss soap's impact on the environment) and water (no time to analyze the quality of war from politically correct recycled paper bacterial slime runoff). 
 
And of course there is still the problem of drying your hands after washing them with the above mentioned problematic soap and water.  The head of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners recommends
 
Golden says air dryers, if they're available, may be the healthiest and most environmentally responsible option of all.
 
But...but...don't heat spewing hand air dryers consume non environmentally correct electricity? 
 
Solyndra, where are you now that we need you? 
 
 

So, some of the benefits of political correctness are better health and kindness to the environment according to pc gurus.  Tell that to those who have accidentally broken one of those pc low energy, pig tailed, mandated, compact fluorescent light (cfl) bulbs which contain decidedly non politically correct unhealthy mercury; dangerous to those poorly paid Chinese workers who make them, dangerous when inhaled, dangerous for the environment when rotting in land fills, perhaps dangerous for those prone to migraines triggered by their subtle flickering. 

But what happens if you end up in the hospital from the mercury, or any other reason, and then use the health facility's politically correct recycled paper towels?  Or use them anywhere else?  Uh oh! Not healthy.  According to Brenda Goodman of WebMD:
 
Researchers at Laval University in Canada tested six brands of commercial paper towels -- the kind doled out in many public bathrooms.

They found bacteria in all of them, but the towels made from recycled fibers were the most heavily contaminated.

"In our study, the concentration of bacteria in the recycled paper was between 100- to 1,000-fold higher than the virgin wood pulp brand," the researchers write.

Bacterial slime is known to be a problem at recycled paper mills, where it corrodes machines and may damage finished paper sheets.

Researchers say the new paper towel finding fits with other studies that have noted high bacterial counts in other kinds of recycled paper products.

Bacteria may thrive in recycled paper because it contains binding ingredients like starches and fillers that serve as food.
 
What kind of bacteria?
 
Most of the bacteria found in paper towels were Bacillus bacteria. Many Bacillus strains can produce toxins that cause food poisoning.

One brand of paper towel contained Bacillus cereus bacteria. In addition to food poisoning, B. cereus has been associated with infections of the eyes, lungs, blood, and central nervous system.

Although the found amounts of B. cereus probably wouldn't harm healthy people, researchers note it may be more dangerous for people who have weakened immune systems, like babies and the elderly, and for people who take medications that suppress their immune function.
 
All of this led the researcher Elizabeth Scott to "wonder about kitchen towels. These are put to all kinds of uses in direct contact with food, for example, covering and wrapping food," she says. "And what about facial tissues, which come into close contact with our eyes and noses?"
 
Ewwwwww!
 
What to do?  What to do?
 
Most experts still agree washing with soap (no room to discuss soap's impact on the environment) and water (no time to analyze the quality of war from politically correct recycled paper bacterial slime runoff). 
 
And of course there is still the problem of drying your hands after washing them with the above mentioned problematic soap and water.  The head of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners recommends
 
Golden says air dryers, if they're available, may be the healthiest and most environmentally responsible option of all.
 
But...but...don't heat spewing hand air dryers consume non environmentally correct electricity? 
 
Solyndra, where are you now that we need you?