What happens if you eat Baby Powder? Pica disorder
Yeah! Pica disorder is characterized by cravings and an appetite for non-edible substances such as ice, clay, chalk, dirt, powder, or sand.
Some people often ask questions such as ” I’m addicted to eating baby powder” or ” I know of someone who’s addicted to eating baby powder.” This feature will explain all the details and consequences of eating Baby powder.
Pica disorder could be the primary associated reason behind such addiction. Well, this addiction, I would say, could be a result of Pica Disorder.
In most cases, you would see pregnant women finding cravings (baby powder), especially if it’s a cornstarch powder. It is being said that cornstarch powders are harmless if eaten but harmful when inhaled, and it’s what they would make sure they take even till they give birth and for most women even after birth. How gross! And embarrassing it seems like, but to them, there is y find it suitable and edible.
In as much as it is cravings for them, it’s very harmful to their health because to some, it could be the cravings of talcum powder and could pose a life-threatening effect in the future.
If pregnant women eat baby powder, what happens to their unborn fetus?
Baby powder could not affect their unborn fetus in most cases as it is usually a rare case.
A quick observation!!
Physically, don’t you think eating dried powder material would be difficult!? It would be very difficult to swallow, and there’s a risk of choking and, of course, medical complications from the inhalation.
More Enlightenment on Pica disorder.
Commonly found in some patients with one infirmity or the other and even in those without any infirmity. An addiction psychiatrist, Jeremy Martinez, M.D, mentioned that” he has seen some addicted to eating cornstarch ( usually contained in most talcum powders), dirt and ice due to low iron. “One patient was eating up to 3 pounds of cornstarch each day, but after receiving iron supplements, this decreased to less than a pound after about a month, then totally vanished completely.
The consumption of other materials such as sand, toothpaste, and plaster have been reported too. Also, note that vitamin deficiencies may be related to pica disorder.
So would having pica disorder be labelled as a normal state of health?
This should and needs to get evaluated by a physician unless it’s a talc-free powder, which could still be a safer side. Medical attention is required. Especially if this is happening during pregnancy, in most cases, something needs to be done about it.
What then can we say makes baby powder harmful to eat?
First thing first, let’s go through the list of commonly general compositions or ingredients contained in some baby powder, which are: Talc, Perfume, Zinc oxide, Linal oil, Phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ButylParaben, EthylParaben, IsobutylParaben, PropylParaben, Open European, Fruit oil, Allantoin, Zea Mays(corn starch), etc.
The rate with which it could be quite harmful depends on what it is made of or contained.
Now because one of the constituents is called “Talc” or talcum, it is said to be harmful, hence making talcum powders harmful to the health. As we all know this talc powder is mainly being used for babies for the benefit of healthy skin, but at the same time, it has been proven to be harmful if swallowed or inhaled.
The inhalation can lead to very severe lung-associated problems or even leads to death, associated with the term “Talcosis.” The substance’s talc is insoluble, which is why it causes the drying up of the mucous membrane of the tracheobronchial, followed by obstruction of airways (smaller).
Baby powder is generally made of talc or cornstarch
Cornstarch, being preferred over talc because of the property of talc powders being hazardous to inhale, is now considered the safest and less harmful powder.
Just like popcorn, the cornstarch would be less harmful but any scent added might cause some indigestion.
Talc powder and its elements
Talcum powder, or talc powders as it is being called, is made from a natural mineral called talc. In its natural form, this talc contains asbestos; this asbestos is responsible for lung cancer linked with the use of talc powders. Many workers in the production of this talc powder are reported to have been infected.
Most deaths of babies have been recorded due to the inhalation or the swallowing of talc powders. This incited the ban of talc powders, but one of the best baby powder sellers (J&J) still claims that their products do not contain harmful substances. This is why it is not that common, but rather an alternative is known as “Cornstarch” or Talc-free powders.
Cornstarch baby powders are harmless, unlike the former(talcum powders)
Does baby powder have harmful effects on Adults when swallowed or inhaled?
It’s majorly a rare case for adults. Hence it could be mild rather than acute as in babies, but in infants and children, it’s a very common case.
What if an already asthmatic patient comes about inhaling it, as in the case of an Adult?
In such a situation where it involves an asthmatic patient, cases like Acute laryngospasm could occur!
And if by chance or luckily enough, there is the presence of medical personnel, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation would be carried out, and while at it, the return of spontaneous circulation in the patient’s body system would occur, followed by the complete disappearance of Cyanosis (associated characterized by a blue discoloration of the skin as a result of the circulation of blood low in oxygen).
Being an asthmatic patient, they must’ve had their bronchodilator inhaler, and then they are required to use it immediately.
Essentially, talc is recognized and most recommended as well safe and sometimes used as an anti-caking agent in spice mixes, salts, and other powdered ingredients not more than 2% precisely. It is not edible as it may cause discomfort that is extremely harmful to one’s health.
Not only do we have the substance”talc” in powders, but it is also contained in many cosmetics such as; Eye shadow, Lipstick, Mascara, Face powder, Blush, and even children’s make-up. In minute quantities.
Talc can be found in food processing as well
It is also present in the composition of chewing gum, polished rice, pharmaceutical pills, and supplements.
Funny enough can be found in crayons too.
Details on Asbestos
Asbestos is a carcinogenic substance that can cause cancer when it is inhaled. This substance is also known to contain aluminium that crosses the blood barrier, and It’s not a good thing. It is said that most baby powders are made of the ingredient”asbestos.” So, most commonly for some women who use baby powder for “Feminine hygiene,” they have confirmed and concluded that this Asbestos-containing baby powder (talc contaminated with asbestos) had been solely one of the major causes of ovarian cancer.
Since they apply this powder to their thigh region to prevent irritation and to make the area dry, during this process, they must have come in contact with the vagina. In addition, for it to cause ovarian cancer (after being used as a baby powder or dusting powder to prevent chafing even in adults, etc.), it needs to get inside the vagina, up the uterus, out the uterus Fallopian tubes, and into the area surrounding the ovaries.
After a thorough investigation of a gynaecologist, the conclusion of it being ovarian cancer came into place, hence the need for surgery. It was traced to have been as a result of the use of talc contaminated with asbestos powder.
Does talc, therefore, cause cancer?
Of course, yes, since it does contain a trace amount of asbestos in it, surely it will cause cancer. Unless being used or applied in the right direction, the chances of cancer will be minimal.
Bearing in mind that not only the swallowing or eating of baby powder is dangerous, we should note that inhalation also is very harmful.
Taking a good look at the clinical features of inhaling or eating talc powders (baby powder), we have the likes of Dyspnea; Cyanosis is commonly associated with respiratory distress and minor symptoms like cough and sneezing. So, therefore, proper caution measures need to be taken when using. Also, avoid eating or swallowing it too. Inhaled talc is traced to contain a suspected carcinogen.
For a victim of such, many pathological signs include; Inflammation of the bronchial epithelium, bronchiolitis, edema, pneumonitis, and acute lung injury. All this resulted in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
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Meaning of some of the terms:
Pneumonitis: inflammation of the tissue of the lungs.
Bronchiolitis: Inflammation of the bronchiole, mostly common in children.
Edema: The most common edema is of the pleural cavity, as in this case. It’s an excessive accumulation of serum in tissue space or body cavity.
In addition to this, as in the case of an adult, talc inhalation usually leads to a chronic pulmonary disease called”Pulmonary Talcosis.” Unlike babies, it is slowly progressive (its symptoms).
Isn’t it better to abstain from eating baby powder? Rather than putting yourself and your body system in a very harmful state. Going by the saying “to befall warned, is to befall harm.” So it’s best to stay away from inhaling or eating any form of white powders or baby powders.
Since it’s no longer news to us about the dangers lurking behind the improper use and inhalation of baby powders, it is expected that there would be a decreased number of victims due to the consequences associated with the disuse or misuse of baby powders. In addition, it is much more recommended to use cornstarch baby powders as it is highly less harmful.
You can INGEST cornstarch but DO NOT INHALE any white powders!!!.