Envelope Glue

I’ve heard a rumor that there is gluten in envelope glue. Is it true?

It’s no wonder this rumor keeps resurfacing. If you do an Internet search on the gluten in the glue on envelopes, or the related question of whether there is gluten in the adhesive on US postage stamps, you will be convinced this is a real problem.

Web site after web site, story after story, and book after book about celiac disease, repeat the statement that gluten can be found in envelopes and stamps.

But it’s not true.

Tonya Muse, senior vice president of the Envelope Manufacturers Association, states that adhesives used on envelopes do not contain gluten.

There are actually only a few envelope glue manufacturers in the US. National Starch & Chemical, a New Jersey company, is one of the largest adhesive suppliers in the world. A company spokesperson says it makes its glue from corn, which is gluten free.

As for postage stamps, the US Postal Service points out that 98 to 99 percent of the stamps it now sells are pressure adhesive stamps. You peel them off a paper backing and press them onto your mail. No licking required for anyone, including celiacs. Even if you happen to get a stamp that needs to be licked, the adhesive on it is gluten free, says Roy Betts, a spokesman for the US Postal Service.

So relax and get that bill or letter  in the mail.