Beware! It’s a Cyber World - - Summary: Scratching Recharge Card Coating (Silver Nitro Oxide) with Nails Causes Cancer
|Scratch Card Skin Cancer Warning|
A warning message started spreading first on Facebook, through re-posting and request for re-posting, and then it spread like a jungle fire via mobile text message/SMS; which warns recipients not to scratch the recharge mobile or phone cards with nails as the material used for scratch card coating i.e. Silver Nitro Oxide, can cause ‘SKIN CANCER’.
The mastermind behind this warning message used the name of Medical research Authority of the US to authenticate this message and in the last it is requested to re-post and forward the same to your contacts and friends.
Let’s have a look to the contents of the message before we start post-mortem of the reality of this ‘Scratch Card Coating Causing Skin Cancer’ warning message.
- Facebook version looks like the shown below:
|Facebook Message: Scratch Card Coating (Silver Nitro Oxide) Causing Skin Cancer|
It mentions, “ATTENTION! !!!!!!! Medical research Authority of the US have found that new cancer in human beings caused by 'Silver Nitro oxide'. Whenever u buy recharge cards or calling cards don't scratch them with ur nail as it contain 'silver nitro oxide' coating and can cause skin cancer. Copy and paste this status and spread awareness please”
- SMS/Mobile Text Message reads like this mentioned below:
Fwd as rcvd
Medical research authority of us have found new cancer in human being caused by silver nitro oxide..
whenever you buy recharge cards dont scratch wid nail as it contain silver nitro oxide coating and can cause skin cancer…
Beware! It’s a Cyber World - - Explanation: Scratching Recharge Card Coating (Silver Nitro Oxide) with Nails Causes Cancer
The message is not only get attention on Facebook only but it is also getting lots of views on other social media networks like Twitter, MySpace and many more.
Actually this is totally a fake warning message using fake key terms like SILVER NOTRO OXIDE and MEDICAL RESEARCH AUTHORITY OF US, therefore; if we want to express the reality behind this message in one word then “HOAX’ is enough for it.
See below what make this message a real HOAX:
- The substance ‘Silver Nitro Oxide’ has no scientific existence till date. Nothing exactly like that is found in chemistry.
- The organization ‘Medical Research Authority of US’ has no real existence in United States or anywhere in the world.
Two chemical substances are found in real world that resembles the name used in this hoax i.e. Nitrous Oxide and Nitric Oxide; but there’s no such evidence that any one of these substances cause skin cancer or any type of cancer. Moreover, none of these substances has ever been used in scratch card coating.
Secondly, there are no realistic links to an organization known as the Medical Research Authority of the US. The closest one can find, via internet search, is the US-based Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). No one will wonder after reading up to here that there is no information on the BARDA website that supports the claims in this hoax message in any way.
Now question arises that what type of substance or material is used in scratch card coating and whether it would have any harmful effects on human. According to research; the primary source of scratch cards coating is ‘Latex’.
Latex is a rubber plant. According to Wikipedia, “Natural rubber is the most important product obtained from latex; more than 12,000 plant species yield latex containing rubber, though in the vast majority of those species the rubber is not suitable for commercial use. This latex is used to make many other products as well, including mattresses, gloves, swim caps, condoms, catheters and balloons”.
Another site says, “More than 40,000 everyday products contain latex. Latex exposure is not something you can completely avoid. Sometimes it can be in products that you would never suspect, such as panty hose, socks and even lottery scratch cards”.
Another material named as UV Ink is also being used for coating the scratch cards. According to Wikipedia; UV Ink is not the ink that becomes visible under Ultra Violet (UV) light but an ink that 'dries' under UV radiation.
The production of scratch card coating is a process that involves two steps, with an optional third step:
- A substrate is covered by a thick, smooth layer of UV ink coating,
- And then printed with a special 'scratch-off' black/silver UV ink (scratch-off inks can sometimes be solvent-based ).
- An optional third step could involve printing text or images over the scratch-off area, with yet another type of UV ink.
After all this discussion, explanation and details provided it is important to conclude a final point that Silver Nitro Oxide scratch cards health warning is nothing more than a baseless Internet trash; therefore should not be re-posted or forwarded in any case.