Are oxygen absorbers dangerous
What if I eat an oxygen absorber
The most common material used within oxygen absorber packages is iron dust. The oxygen absorber works by making finely divided iron react with oxygen to form iron oxide, also known as rust. The iron is not dangerous and can be absorbed by the body in a similar way to an iron supplement. A person or animal can be poisoned from ingesting large amounts of iron. According to WebMD, however, symptoms of poisoning only begin to appear after consumption of more than 10 mg of iron per kilogram of body weight. This means that even a small child or animal would have to eat several packets for each poisoning reaction. If this happens, seek medical treatment.
Non-ferrous oxygen absorbers
Some oxygen absorbers are made with materials other than iron, although this is rare because of the inexpensiveness and accessibility of iron dust. However, the food packager can avoid using iron because the food will have to go through a metal detector, or because the food will be in the microwave. When non-ferrous oxygen absorbers are used, they are still made to be non-toxic because food packers are concerned about their customers inadvertently consuming the packages.
< p=""> The package that holds the oxygen - absorbing material is made of plastic, and it is run slowly to allow oxygen to enter the package and react with the iron dust or other oxygen - absorbing material. This plastic is non-toxic, although it will scratch your stomach and intestines. Having plastic in your stomach can cause nausea and abdominal pain, but it shouldn't cause permanent damage.
Although these packages are made to be non-toxic, it is worth noting that they are not tested for safety and cleanliness like food would. They are also usually made in places that manufacture other chemicals and may have dust on them from toxic materials. Although accidentally eating them probably won't do any harm, it's not safe to consume them regularly.
The outside of the oxygen absorber packages explicitly say that they shouldn't be eaten. There have been reports of people opening the package and sprinkling it on their food because they think it is a seasoning package. Manufacturers add these markings to indicate that the package is not meant to be eaten, but it does not mean that the packages are dangerous.
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