Is Silica Gel Harmful To Skin?

You need not be concerned if you come into contact with silica gel. So, Is Silica Gel Harmful To Skin? Silica gel is used to absorb moisture and keep it away from meals, pharmaceuticals, clothing, and even electronics in various consumer packaging. Silica gel bags are frequently labeled do not eat, and you may be wondering if touching silica gel is unsafe or if you may safely touch it.

Is it harmful to humans? Should you be concerned if a pack of beads bursts open and you have to pick them up? Silica Gel is not unsafe to touch; in fact, it is extremely safe. It’s essentially a water-adsorbing synthetic imitation of sand. Chemical coatings on colored silica gel can cause moderate skin irritation in certain persons.

The white/clear silica gel can be handled with your hands and skin without issue, but it is recommended to use protective equipment when handling the colored silica gel. I’ve been researching some of the numerous uses for silica gel, as well as whether it expires or not, and I wanted to be sure I was handling it safely.

So, I did some research to see the risks of having silica gel in contact with my skin for long or short periods. Should I be concerned, or is it okay to handle and hold this material?

Is Silica Gel Harmful To Skin?

Silica Gel is a type of silicon dioxide (SiO2) that occurs naturally in the form of sand. People don’t go for walks on the beach, feeling the sand between their toes and then having their feet swell up and die. That does not occur. Because silica gel and sand are non-toxic, this is the case.

Sand and silica gel vary in that silica gel is non-crystalline and highly porous, while sand is crystalline and non-porous. In silica gel, the pores, or small microscopic cavities, allow it to absorb water. As a result, silica gel is essentially a distinct type of sand that is extremely safe to handle.

Silica Gel Harmful To Skin

Is Colored Silica Gel Dangerous To Touch?

While ordinary white/clear silica gel is safe to handle, colored silica gel can be hazardous. Touching colored silica gel in little amounts and over short periods, on the other hand, should not pose any severe health problems.

However, if at all possible, avoid touching it with your skin. When silica gel is blue or pink, it has most likely been coated with cobalt chloride. Methyl violet is most likely used to cover orange or green silica gel.

When dry, cobalt chloride is blue, but it turns pink when it comes into contact with water. This makes it possible to tell when the silica gel is wet and dry. This is useful in situations where you need to determine whether or not there was any water present. When dry, methyl violet is orange, but when wet, it turns green.

According to Fisher Scientific, it can induce eye and skin irritations and irritation of the digestive tract if eaten. Because of its antibacterial and antifungal qualities, it has been used to treat various medical conditions, including oral fungal infections. Colored silicone gel is commonly seen in kitty litter.

Most kitty litter is plain silica gel, with only a small percentage containing colored silica gel beads. This reduces the total risk to your cat’s health, especially if your cat eats any of the silica gel beads.

Harmful Effects Of Silica Gel

Silica gel has several negative effects, particularly when it contains cobalt chloride. Humans, animals and the environment may be harmed by silica gel. Consider the potentially hazardous effects of silica gel items before using or disposing of them.


Some types of silica gel, notably those containing the chemical cobalt chloride, have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory settings. To show the presence of water or humidity, cobalt chloride is frequently added to normal silica gel 1.

The cobalt concentration in the silica gel keeps it blue when it’s still active, making it easier to determine water saturation. Even though most silica gel used in household items does not include cobalt chloride, it is widely used in public places such as parks. It has not been shown that silica gel causes cancer on its own.


Because the major goal of silica gel is to absorb water, ingesting it produces dehydration and pain, but only if a large amount is swallowed. The mouth and throat are likely to be the most irritated as the product is consumed. Silica gel has been linked to gastrointestinal distress when ingested in high amounts. However, silica gel is not harmful to the body as long as it does not contain cobalt chloride.

Eye Sensitivity

When silica gel comes into contact with the eyes, it produces irritation and redness. Pain will develop as the silica gel tries to absorb fluids on the eye’s surface. Wearing goggles lowers the possibility of contact, but if contact occurs, to remove the silica gel, the eyes must be washed with water for at least 15 minutes.

Respiratory Effects

Inhaling silica gel is extremely harmful and should be treated immediately. Many believe that the warning signs on ordinary silica gel packets seen in home objects are due to poison concerns. However, they are not.

When a youngster tries to eat silica gel, some of the beads may be inhaled, causing severe lung discomfort, shortness of breath, and coughing. Long-term exposure to silica gel dust causes silicosis, a lung infection that destroys the lungs irreversibly.

Skin Irritation

Touching silica gel causes irritation and redness, and prolonged exposure causes dryness and skin abrasions. Hands & exposed skin should be covered against silica gel at all times, including secondary hazards from touching silica-contaminated clothing or other items.

Environmental Hazards

Silica gel is suspected of harming the environment, particularly aquatic animal life and water sources. Cobalt chloride-containing silica gel is a particularly hazardous waste that should be treated to avoid negative environmental consequences.

While some producers have made silica gel with lower levels of cobalt chloride to lessen dangers, Nantong OhE Chemicals has developed Eco Blue. This unique silica gel product signals water saturation without using the dangerous component cobalt chloride.


Here we come to conclude all about Is Silica Gel Harmful To Skin? Silica Gel has a wide range of applications and uses. It has dramatically improved how we store, transport, and deliver commodities.

We hope this article has answered your questions if you’ve ever wondered why silica gel packages have a do-not-consume warning. If you have any further questions, please leave them in the comments section below!

Touching Silica Gel is perfectly safe. It is a synthetic, water-absorbing substitute for real sand. Certain people may experience mild to moderate skin irritation from the chemical coatings on colored silica gel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is silica gel harmful?

Silica gel packs can be found inside purses or medicine bottles and in boxes holding electronics or new shoes. The packets either contain granular silica acid (which looks like sand) or little gel beads. Silica gel is non-toxic, which means it won’t make you sick if consumed.

Is it true that silica gel causes death?

Silica gel is a hard, solid substance shaped into beads or granules. When bugs come into touch with silica gels, they become dehydrated and die. Silica gels are non-toxic, although they should not be applied to the skin.

Is silica gel harmful to your health?

Inhaling silica particles stimulates the development of pulmonary fibrosis, which raises the risk of lung cancer over time. Crystalline silica was recognized as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 1997.

Is silica drying to the skin?

It’s worth noting that some people believe silica absorbs too much moisture and oil, leaving their skin feeling dry.

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