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Silica Gel Packets: Are They Poisonous or Dangerous if Swallowed?

Silica Gel Packets: Are They Poisonous or Dangerous if Swallowed?
“Silica gel” by matsuyuki is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

You may have seen these little packets in a package of food before, but are they poisonous? Are they dangerous if swallowed? Do you need to call the poison control center if you swallow one? You don’t want to be calling 9-1-1 because someone accidentally ate your “freshness packet.” In this article, we will discuss what silica gel packets are and how they work. We’ll also go into detail about whether or not these things are poisonous or dangerous if swallowed.

Silica gel packets are not dangerous if swallowed. They are made of a material that is not poisonous and does no harm to your body if ingested. So you don’t need to worry about calling the poison control center or going into anaphylactic shock from accidentally swallowing one! That being said, I would advise against consuming one on purpose, just to be on the safe side.

If Silica Gel Packets are not Dangerous, then Why the Warning Label?

If you’ve ever looked at a silica gel packet then you know it clearly has a label stamped “DO NOT INGEST!” So if they are not dangerous to your health, then why is the warning label there?

The main reason this label is on these little packets if to prevent anyone from attempting to eat them. The silica gel inside the packets is not dangerous by itself, however choking on the packet is. So this warning label is mainly there to prevent any law suits from happening.

The other reason the label is on these packets, and the more important one in my opinion, is the possibility of an allergic reaction. Even though it’s a lot less common scenario than choking to death, allergic reactions are possible. If someone were allergic or sensitive enough, they could go into anaphylactic shock! While not dangerous for most people who are healthy, there may be rare cases where someone may have a violent reaction to the chemicals.

Are Silica Gel Packets Poisonous or Toxic for Dogs and Cats?

The same goes for your pets as it does for humans. Silica gel packets are not poisonous or dangerous to your pet’s health if ingested, but they can be a choking hazard. Silica packets are the eighth-most-common report according to the Pet Poison Helpline. Even though the material itself is not dangerous for your dog or cat, getting the plastic bag stuck in their throat is!

I’m sure many of these little packets have been consumed by pets over the years. But they would simply pass through the digestive system without any ill effects. However if any of you pet owners actually see them swallow one, then keep a close eye on them for the next few hours. If you notice any strange behavior then it would probably be a good idea to consult your veterinarian.

What is Inside a Silica Gel Packet?

What is Inside a Silica Gel Packet?
“silica gel” by Colin ZHU is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The little beads found inside a silica gel packet is a completely inert mineral called silicon dioxide. It is basically the same thing as quartz or sand. The material is a porous amorphous form of silicon dioxide, a naturally occurring mineral found abundantly on earth.

The silica gel packet bag is made up of tiny beads that will expand when they absorb water vapor. This causes the bag to swell as it takes up moisture, this will prevent spoilage and also eliminates odors.

The beads in these packets can absorb up to 40 percent of their weight, which means they’re great for protecting items like food, silverware, books, electronics and other household goods from damage due to humidity or dampness.

Why you Should Never Throw Away Silica Packets?

Silica gel packets should never be thrown away because they can be used for many things. If you have a nice stash of these packets, you could throw one in a box of cereal or in your rice to keep it dry and fresh. I also have a post on 25 Uses for Things You Might Throw Away that you may find some more interesting tips in. 🙂 Who would of thought that used motor oil actually had a purpose!

Do Silica Packets Expire?

Silica packets do not have an expiration date, so you can keep them on hand for a long time. You will know when a silica packet is reaching the end of its use because it will be swollen and full of moisture. If your packet has become consumed by moisture and appears to be at it’s end – all you have to do is dry it out and then you can use it again. These really are miracle freshness packets that can be used over and over again!

7 Facts about Silica Gel Packets

1. Silica gel packets are not poisonous or dangerous if swallowed.

2. They are made of a type of silicone that is safe for humans and animals to ingest.

3. The packet will swell up in the stomach, but it won’t cause any damage.

4. If you swallow one, don’t panic- just drink a glass of water and wait for your body to pass it naturally.

5. It is safe to store food in an airtight container with silica gel packets inside.

6. Silica gel packets are most commonly used to keep products dry and free from moisture.

7. The packets can be found in electronics, food packaging, and other items that need to be protected from humidity.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tid-bit of information about silica gel packets. So the next time you or a loved one swallows one, don’t panic! It’s just a little packet of silicone that is safe for humans and animals to ingest. It will swell up in the stomach but it won’t cause any damage. Just drink you some water and wait for it to pass on through!

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