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What happens if I eat the “Do not Eat” bag in medicine?

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Hello Gnees Army,

Good Afternoon,

Sometimes, you will notice in medicine, there is a bag/pouch marked as “Do Not Eat”. Do you know why it is marked with? Why this bag/pouch present in medicine or other food products?

The “Do Not Eat” bag/pouch comes with silica gel.

But Why Silica gel?

Silica gel is basically a desiccant and absorbs excess moisture to keep things dry.

silica gel - do not eat

Is it toxic to humans?

No, it’s not toxic for us. But If you accidentally eat silica, it will neither absorbed nor digested and passes through your body as is.

So, What’s the main problem?

Just because it is not toxic doesn’t mean that you should actually eat it. They are not meant to be eaten. While it is not toxic, it can cause dehydration if consumed. The label that remarks ‘DO NOT EAT’ is actually meant for small kids, considering it is a choking hazard. If your child actually ends up eating some silica, you should give them some water as it may cause dry mouth.

What are the Symptoms if any adults take it accidentally?

In most common cases symptoms are –

  • Dry eyes
  • An irritated, dry feeling in your throat
  • Aggravated, dry mucous membranes and nasal cavity
  • An upset stomach or stomach discomfort
silica gel - do not eat

How does it work? Explain it in detail!

Well, Silica gel can absorb about 40% 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 300°F / 152°C.

Silica gel is nearly harmless, and that’s why you find it in food products. Silica, technically Silicon dioxide (SiO2), is the same material found in quartz. The gel (porous sand) form contains millions of tiny holes that can absorb moisture.

So, how many Silica packets would it take to absorb all the water from the human body?

Let’s use a 95 Kg man as an example. We know that 70% of a human body is made up of water. 70% of 95 Kg is about 66.5 Kg of water. We also know that silica gel can absorb about 40% of its weight in moisture. So by calculating, you may have to consume 50,000+ Silica Bags to absorb your whole body water which is impossible for humans. Never try to do this fool stuff nor even in the dream.

Hope you find this article thankful! Thanks for reading!

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