Lifestyle

What To Do And What Happens If You Eat Silica Gel?

4 Mins read

Silica gel is a desiccant, also known as a drying agent, that is often packaged in little packets by manufacturers to prevent moisture from wreaking havoc on certain foods and commercial items. You may have found packets of silica in anything from beef jerky to the brand-new sneakers you just purchased.

Ingestion of silica gel is not often harmful; however, it has been known to cause choking in a few rare cases. Because of this, the producers put a warning sticker on them that says, “Do not consume.”Therefore, in the following paragraphs, you will learn what happens if you eat silica gel:

What are silica gels?

Silica gel is an amorphous and porous form of silicon dioxide. It comprises a framework with a three-dimensional and irregular geometry, consisting of alternating silicon atoms (Si) and oxygen (O). It has voids and pores on a scale of nanometers. There is a possibility of liquid or gas, such as vacuum, being contained inside the gaps of the silica gel structure.

Because it is a desiccant or drying agent, manufacturers often include tiny packets of gel in their goods. This helps prevent moisture from wreaking havoc on specific culinary items and commercial products. Acidifying a silicate solution is the typical method of producing silica gel (water glass).

What is silica gel used for?

silica gel
image source: Healthline

Below are some of the primary uses of silica gel.

Save a wet cellphone.

The most straightforward technique to remove moisture from a damp phone is silica. Use a soft towel to wipe away excess water before separating the battery. Place a silicon gel package inside a zip-lock bag along with the phone and battery. Leave it off overnight and turn it on the following day.

Keep razor blades uncluttered.

Put a package of silicon gel in a jar where you keep all your shaving blades. You’ll be shocked to learn that the edges won’t tarnish and will remain used for a long time.

Keep your coffee container dry.

The most frequent problem we deal with daily is this one. Whenever we open our favorite coffee jar to use, it absorbs moisture from the air and clogs the coffee powder, rendering it worthless. But we still need to do a magic trick. In the cap, insert a silicon gel pack. The coffee’s moisture will be absorbed by it, keeping the powder fluid.

Keeps moisture out of your leather shoes

When we purchase the shoes, we get those little packets inside the shoe box because moisture severely degrades leather. Silicon packets prevent water from affecting the leather, preserving it for a long time.

Essential for your gym bag

Your sweaty towels, shoes, and socks are kept in your gym bag, which retains the stench for a long time. Put a few silicon packets inside the bag to solve this issue. They will absorb all the sweat- and odor-induced moisture.

How Dangerous Is Silica Gel?

 Dangerous Is Silica Gel?
image source: Youtube

Silica gel poses a risk of choking for young children even though it is non-toxic. Manufacturers only do coating silica gel with the poisonous chemical cobalt chloride in very unusual circumstances. Consuming silica gel coated with cobalt chloride will likely result in nausea and vomiting.

An indication of moisture, cobalt chloride has a dark blue color when it is dry and a pink pigment when it is completely saturated with water. Consumer goods often do not make use of silica gel that has been coated with cobalt chloride.

What happens if you eat silica gel?

What happens if you eat silica gel?
Image source: Nutshell school

The following is a summary of some of the adverse reactions that might occur if an excessive quantity of silica gel is consumed. Now let’s look at what happens if you eat silica gel.

  • Someone can get dehydrated due to consuming a large quantity of silica gel. This might cause discomfort at the back of the throat and the nose.
  • Even though it is not harmful, silica gel may provide a choking risk to young children in some situations. As a result, it must be stored at a location inaccessible to youngsters.
  • It can produce nausea, vomiting, constipation, and stomach discomfort. Get medical help if you have episodes of persistent vomiting, cannot keep food down, suffer stomach discomfort, have an intestinal blockage, or have any of the other symptoms listed below.
  • It is possible that our eyes may get irritated if silica gel gets into them. As a consequence of this, we have to begin by flushing our eyes with water that is room temperature.
  • Crystalline silica dust contributes to the development of a lung illness, known as silicosis.

What to do if anyone eats silica gel?

If you or your kid has accidentally eaten silica gel, you should attempt to drink water to facilitate the passage of the gel into the stomach. Sometimes, producers may utilize silica gel with a coating of cobalt chloride, a chemical known to be poisonous. It is quite probable that a person may experience nausea and vomiting if they consume cobalt chloride-coated silica gel.

Moving ahead, you should discuss with your youngster that the packets are not meant to be consumed in any way. You might suggest that they bring you any sachets they come across for you to dispose of. You may also get rid of any packets of silica you come across by throwing them away. This will make it less likely that your children or pets will discover them.

If you believe your pet has consumed one or more silica gel packets, you should also inform the veterinarian who treats your animal. Your dog’s breed and general health will be factors that your veterinarian will consider when providing you with further recommendations.

FAQ

What is the structure of SiO2?

There is a tetrahedron present in the chemical structure of silica. It comprises one silicon atom in the middle and four oxygen atoms on the sides, with which the silicon atom in the intermediate forms bonds. The geometric figure drawn around this arrangement is a tetrahedron, which means that each side is in the shape of an equilateral triangle.

Is SiO2 acidic?

Silicon dioxide is an acidic oxide. It will react to generate silicate salts when brought into contact with solid bases.

Is silica gel poisonous?

Consuming silica gel might be harmful to your health. If silica gel beads are accidentally swallowed, they should be quickly spat out. If the substance has been consumed, it is advised to go to the nearest emergency hospital just in case. Not all silica gels are made equally, and some include a harmful coating referred to as “cobalt chloride.” This chemical has the potential to produce nausea and vomiting as well as stomach discomfort.

Conclusion:

We have covered in this post what happens if you eat silica gel long-windedly. Even though silica gel packaging may include some alarming warnings, the gel itself is safe to consume, provided that excessive amounts are not consumed. If you come across any packets, getting rid of them as soon as possible is in your best interest since they present a choking danger and have no nutritional benefit.

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