What Happens if You Eat a Silica Get Packet?
Feb 13, · In rare instances, manufacturers use silica gel that’s coated with cobalt chloride, a toxic compound. If a person ingests cobalt chloride-coated silica gel, it’ll likely cause nausea and mesmmdaten.com: Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA. Jan 06, · If consumed in large enough quantities, they can cause intestinal obstruction, and in rare cases, silica gel can be coated in cobalt chloride, a toxic compound that, as Rangan pointed out, may cause nausea and vomiting. But if you accidentally send one down with a handful of beef jerky, you should be just fine.
Well, for one thing, you'd be eating a misnomer. Silica gel isn't actually a gel, but a granular form of silicon dioxide SiO 2a compound formed when silicon is oxidized.
But before we discuss the consequences of ingestion, here's a quick history lesson. Silica gel has been around since at least the s, but was a scientific curiosity until its absorbent properties were put to use during World War I in gas mask canisters.
Walter Patrick, a chemistry professor at Johns Hopkins University, patented silica gel in and joined with Grace Davison, a Maryland-based chemical company, to further develop it.
Davison began selling silica gel in but it didn't take off until World War II. Silica gel can absorb a lot of water—about a third of its weight—without undergoing a chemical reaction or changing shape.
These properties make silica gel extremely useful for controlling moisture and humidity, and during the war it was used to keep medicine, military equipment and supplies dry. Today it's packaged with leather products, pepperoni, electronics and vitamin pills and used in museums and libraries to guard against rust, corrosion, tarnishing, mildew, how to decorate a bookshelf without books and spoilage.
So what happens if what should be in a diaper bag for a newborn decide to defy the warning on the packet, defy the social norms of polite society and munch on a few granules? Of course, there are some caveats, which we'll get to in a minute.
If you think about it, silica gel is basically man-made sand. It's non-toxic and chemically non-reactive. People who have eaten anywhere from a few beads to a whole packet have reported no ill effects. If you're curious, it's reportedly almost tasteless, like licking a postage stamp.
Why the warnings, then? Well, silica gel isn't completely dangerous, but it isn't completely safe. Here are a few reasons the packets come with stern what happens when you eat silica gel. You'd have to eat an awful lot of it to dehydrate yourself, but if you did, it would dry you out what is online data charging call no time.
Eating a packet that came in a box of cockroach traps is definitely not recommended, but the gel could have absorbed other nasty stuff during manufacture or shipping and absorbed it.
Sometimes, these things are added intentionally and packaged silica gel might have a bit of fungicide or pesticide added to it. Another additive to watch out for is cobalt II chloride, which is toxic. This is added to the gel when a visible indication of absorption is needed. The cobalt II chloride makes the granules blue when they're dry and turn pink when they're saturated. And the biggest reason?
They're just covering their butts. If you've got a burning question that you'd like to see answered here, shoot me an email at flossymatt at gmail. Twitter users can also make nice with me and ask me questions there. Be sure to give me your name and location and a link, if you want so I can give you a little shout out. BY Matt Soniak. Risk Assessment So what happens if you decide to defy the warning on the packet, defy the social norms of polite society and munch on a few granules?
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Cobalt (II) chloride is deep blue when dry (anhydrous) and pink when moist (hydrated). This is the reason most silica gel packets are labeled as dangerous or poisonous when eaten. Crystalline. Dec 28, · Silica gel is what's known as a desiccant, which means that its purpose is to remove moisture and humidity from an environment. Because of that, it could mildly dehydrate the stomach and cause some nausea, according to Livestrong. The treatment is simply a few sips of mesmmdaten.com: Karen Veazey. Jan 29, · Usually, nothing happens if you eat silica gel. 1 ? In fact, you probably consume it already. Silica is added to improve flow in powdered foods. It occurs naturally in water, where it may help confer resistance against developing senility. Silica is just another name for silicon dioxide, the main component of sand, glass, and quartz.
By: Katherine Neer Updated: Feb 16, What you would be consuming is most likely silica gel or some other desiccant -- something that absorbs collects and holds water vapor. These little packets are found in all sorts of products to help maintain quality. Shipping can cause all kinds of atmospheric conditions and changes in temperature. Increased moisture can spoil or permanently damage many products.
For example, if a bottle of vitamins contained any moisture vapor and was cooled rapidly, the condensing moisture would ruin the pills. You'll find little silica gel packets in anything that would be affected by excess moisture or condensation. Silica gel can adsorb about 40 percent of its weight in moisture and can take the relative humidity in a closed container down to about 40 percent.
Once the gel is saturated, you can get rid of the moisture and reuse silica gel by heating it above degrees Fahrenheit degrees Celsius. Silica gel is nearly harmless, and that's why you find it in food products. Silica, which is actually silicon dioxide SiO2 , is the same material found in quartz. The gel form contains millions of tiny pores that can adsorb and hold moisture -- it's essentially porous sand. While the contents of a silica gel packet are basically harmless, it would be a rather unpleasant experience to attempt to consume the silica crystals.
The sole job of these tiny desiccants is to adsorb moisture. If you emptied a packet of the stuff into your mouth, the moisture would be whisked away from the sides and roof of your mouth, your gums and tongue -- giving an entirely new and all-too-accurate meaning of the phrase "dry mouth.
So just how many silica packets would it take to adsorb all the water from someone's body? Let's use a pound man as an example. We know that 70 percent of a human body is made up of water - 70 percent of pounds is pounds of water. We also know that silica gel can adsorb about 40percent of its weight in moisture. So 10 pounds of silica gel are needed to adsorb 4 pounds of water. It turns out that it would take Since a single packet of silica gel weighs 0. Human Body. Body Systems. Digestive System.
The contents of a silica packet would make your mouth as dry as a desert. Dry eyes An irritated, dry feeling in your throat Aggravated, dry mucous membranes and nasal cavity An upset stomach or stomach discomfort.
Despite what many think, silica gel packets aren't poisonous. If you put them in your mouth, your mouth will probably get really dry it can adsorb about 40 percent of its weight in moisture , and it probably won't taste good. If they actually make it to your stomach, you might end up with a sore stomach, dry eyes, an irritated or dry throat, and dry mucous membranes.
All of these symptoms are temporary and don't pose any real threat to your health. What do silica packets do? Silica packets absorb and hold water vapor. Shipping can cause all kinds of atmospheric conditions and changes in temperature, so these packets are inserted into packaging to absorb moisture that could spoil or permanently damage the product before it reaches the consumer. Are silica gel packets safe for food? Yes, in fact, silica gel packets are industry standard in many packaged dry food products.
Can silica gel packets be reused? Just make sure you take it out of the package first since it's normally paper. What is silica? Silica is simply silicon dioxide SiO2 — the same material found in quartz. The gel form contains millions of tiny sand-like pores that can adsorb and hold moisture. Is silicone poisonous? The reason the packets often read "Do Not Eat" is because they pose a choking threat to children.
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