EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

The thrill of receiving a package at your door and the wash of relief that derives from avoiding an overwhelming store may come at a steeper price than you realize.

Modern online retailers often brand the exteriors of their cardboard boxes, the paper inside the boxes, and the tags on your products with trendy logos and other visual cues to increase brand recognition.

In nail-biting news, the ink used to print these logos may be more toxic than previously thought. Despite the fact that consumers remain at reportedly ‘low’ levels of risk from these carcinogens, the individuals who handle these packages -possibly your colleagues, friends and relatives- may be at elevated risk.

The ink can poison human nervous systems, and “…can cause neurological damage… and have also been found to be carcinogenic and contribute to birth defects.” In addition, the waste from the production and processing of ink pigments can leech into groundwater, poisoning an essential non-renewable resource, and causing harm to countless animal species.

Where are the regulators? In the US, laws do not exist to limit the production of toxic compounds, like these.

Alternative options exist. Are they the right solution, or are they comparably dubious, but in different ways? Decide for yourself. As a conscious business leader, and a conscious consumer, here’s what you need to know about this Catch-22.