Silica gel: What happens if they are ingested?

Silica gel packs are used in the packaging process of various products to keep moisture out. Some of the goods where these packets are utilized include food, medications, leather shoes and even electronics.

By stopping the buildup of moisture, this desiccant stop mildew or mold growth as well as corrosion. The packets that contain the substance have instructions on not to eat the product since it can be dangerous if ingested.

Oftentimes, adults should get in touch with poison control center or call for emergency assistance since children or pets might swallow the contents. After opening the packets that contain the silica gel, they must be discarded or kept out of reach. Remember that silica gel is not toxic but can trigger discomfort.

Exposure

silica-gel

Direct exposure to the substance and touching the eyes can trigger irritation as well. If it enters the stomach, the silica gel might result to dehydration or stomach upset.

Once the packages are swallowed, it does not pose as a significant threat to the body. Since the function of the packet is to get rid of humidity from the adjacent area, it does so upon contact with the lips, skin, face, hands, tongue and any other skin surface which triggers dryness and irritation.

Direct exposure to the substance and touching the eyes can trigger irritation as well. If it enters the stomach, the silica gel might result to dehydration or stomach upset. In case the product was chewed before swallowed, the product might be inhaled which results to a cough.

Management of silica gel ingestion

The treatment for exposure to silica gel is the initial first aid measure. Any body part that was exposed to the product should be cleansed using water and mild soap.

Once the skin is cleansed, a moisturizing lotion should be used to avoid undue skin dryness. In case the eyes are irritated after exposure, rinse the eyes unceasingly using fresh water for up to 15 minutes.

Contact lenses must be removed before the eyes are flushed. In case the substance was ingested, increase the intake of water to lessen any stomach distress. The intake of water intake also helps in preventing dehydration.

Do not try to induce vomiting to get rid of the silica gel. In case the gel is breathed in, the individual should be transferred to a site with fresh air. Difficulty breathing might require oxygen therapy. If distress in any form persists after exposure to the gel, call poison control center or seek emergency assistance.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on silica gel ingestion is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs that silica gel has been ingested, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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