Administration » Carbonless Copy Paper


Although many hospitals are increasingly transitioning to paperless systems, occupational exposure to dusts and vapors from carbonless copy paper (used for medical forms) have historically been linked to adverse health effects, including upper respiratory irritation, other airway obstruction, and contact urticaria (i.e., hives). Tiny micro granules of dyes and resins are released when sheets are pressed together. The released chemicals can be absorbed through the skin or released into the air and inhaled.

Recognized Controls and Work Practices

NIOSH recommends that in most cases, good industrial hygiene and work practices should be adequate to reduce or eliminate symptoms, including:

  • Adequate ventilation, humidity, and temperature controls;
  • Proper housekeeping;
  • Minimal hand-to-mouth and hand-to-eye contact; and
  • Periodic cleansing of hands

These recommendations are similar to ones that have been made by other researchers, programs, and agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Additional Information