Self-indicating Silica Gel may be carcinogenic (cancer causing)


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maxpersg

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Jun 29, 2009
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#1
I usually throw a pack of self-packed silica gel into my camera bag and found that it recently changed colour after 5 days.

So i went online to look for more info and read some articles about silica gel.

Its stated that self-indicating (normally those in blue) silica gels contains a chemical called cobalt chloride which is carcinogenic. Meaning its causes cancer if the dust particles of it are inhaled over long period of time. However this does not to those non-indicating gels which are transparent.

Anyone got views to share on this topic?

I read this piece of info at
http://info.anu.edu.au/hr/OHS/Hazard_Alerts/Self_Indicating_Blue_Silica_Gel
http://www.geejaychemicals.co.uk/cobaltchloride.htm
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#2
I have been telling ppl about the Carcinogenic properties for a long time already... Esp. when there are queries on Dry boxes vs Dry cabinets.

So why risk one's health??
 

#3
I have been telling ppl about the Carcinogenic properties for a long time already... Esp. when there are queries on Dry boxes vs Dry cabinets.

So why risk one's health??
What is most shocking is when people starts to suggest drying and heating the silica gels in their microwave oven out of ignorance in those kind of threads. :eek:
 

maxpersg

New Member
Jun 29, 2009
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#4
oh man. i almost wanted to heat them when i saw those gels changing colour. Shall get my dry box soon!
 

#5
For me, when the silica gels absorbed the moisture and changes colour, I'll just throw it away.
I don't want to waste time heating it in an oven.

Anyway, a bottle of silica gels costs around $4-$5 only.
 

alan22

New Member
Nov 9, 2008
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#6
Personally i think that its not worth to risk our health, destroying a frying pan jus for frying silica gel for a bottle of silica gel which cost $5. If really need to, Dry cabinet is the way to go. Been there, Done that.
 

Jul 5, 2007
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AMK
#7
Learn how to use them properly and things will be fine. Many things around us contains material that is health detrimental if not handled properly. Putting any silica in food oven is unsafe regardless of type bec they crack and debris flies off into the oven. But yes, the blue dye is toxic if consumed or breath in.

To add on to health topic, heating your styrofoam cup and reusing the plastic container to heat up can cause cancer as the dioxin in plastic once inside cannot be remove from body, thus accumulative for lifespan.
 

iMac08

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Sep 4, 2008
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#8
just throw the used one away..is only 5bucks...cancer related therapy is more than 5bucks so why bother recycling.

like what zac says...get a dry cab. electricity is running 24/7 but is low consumption and safer...it alr save your bill unless u prefer to on aircon 24/7....
 

Fotophilic

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2006
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big tree town
#9
I usually throw a pack of self-packed silica gel into my camera bag and found that it recently changed colour after 5 days.

So i went online to look for more info and read some articles about silica gel.

Its stated that self-indicating (normally those in blue) silica gels contains a chemical called cobalt chloride which is carcinogenic. Meaning its causes cancer if the dust particles of it are inhaled over long period of time. However this does not to those non-indicating gels which are transparent.

Anyone got views to share on this topic?

I read this piece of info at
http://info.anu.edu.au/hr/OHS/Hazard_Alerts/Self_Indicating_Blue_Silica_Gel
http://www.geejaychemicals.co.uk/cobaltchloride.htm
If u prefer a dry box for use, consider this

http://www.olee.com.sg/prod_dehumid_reusablemini.html

i've used it for 2 years. still going strong. i open my dry box about 2x a week. only need to charge it once every half a yr.

can buy from home-fix. less than $20.
 

maxpersg

New Member
Jun 29, 2009
21
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Singapore
#10
woo. that dehumidifier seems cool. any idea on the cost of that? im using silica gel for temp measures as im still saving up for a dry boy. LOL.
 

CS TAN

Senior Member
Sep 3, 2007
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Hong Kong
#11
BUT, Silica Gel in it's natural form (WHITE, NON-INDICTING) is NON-TOXIC and Inert. It will do nothing more then absorb moisture. You can eat the stuff and it won't do any harm (I do not advise), they just put the "Warning: DO NOT EAT" on the packet as it is a choking hazard. Hang, the FDA even allows something like 1% or .1% (I forget which ones from my days working in food manufacturing plant) of the non-indicating Silica Gel to be mixed in WITH SALT so it doesn't get lumpy! Yes, you could be eating Silica Gel every day you use salt!!
Silica is sand so eating sand should be quite safe (within reasonable quantity). There are a lot of silica usage in our daily life. Just to name one interesting one - Beer stabilizer. It is made of silica which beer manufacturer put inside the beer to make the liquid stays clear longer (not getting cloudy).
 

night86mare

Deregistered
Aug 25, 2006
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#12
anyways, information and all, i wonder sometimes whether we are overreacting to such health warnings

barbequed food, and bbqs themselves are a writhing nest of carcinogens, both inhaled and ingested. but we do it now and then anyways. :bsmilie:
 

Fotophilic

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2006
2,388
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big tree town
#14
LOL, it is a nice looking unit. But looking at the pictures, they are still using Blue Silica Gel. Yes, the Cancer causing kind!

Keep in mind this "Blue Silica Gel" that is used inside this "dehumidifier" you have listed is listed as Hazardous Material in the UK and you must dispose of it as "Hazardous Material" which means your not even allowed to throw it away in your trash can without getting fined!

I'd highly advice contacting the company and asking them if they have any dehumidifiers without the use of Cobalt Chloride, at least ask and see what they have!
the good thing about these dehumidifiers is that u get to re-heat them, without getting into contact with the beads, everything is done in that unit. just do it in a well-aerated place.
 

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sidloojl

New Member
Jul 8, 2009
509
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Singapore
#15
so moral of the story is i should dump my drybox and splurge on a cabi? :eek:

I still got half a bottle of mean cancerous blue silica to go. :S
you should start saving for a dry cabinet cause it is simply less troublesome.


i haven't done much research, but i think using silica gel is too troublesome and a small dry cabinet is very affordable at 100+ since you already paid thousands for your camera. but silica gel do work cause people have been using it for a long time, i should think longer than dry cabinets, and they have kept their gear in a great condition. the only problem is really maintenance. can you imagine you have to keep checking whether they change in colour..for dry cabinets, you just keep it on and pay your electricity bills.haha.

as for recycling, i won't do that. i would just change it. it is too much trouble for 5 bucks as many have mentioned. and i don't like the idea of some chemical coming in contact with my food.
 

velasco

Senior Member
Jul 7, 2006
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PARISris , Singapore
ukellyclarkson.com
#16
you should start saving for a dry cabinet cause it is simply less troublesome.


i haven't done much research, but i think using silica gel is too troublesome and a small dry cabinet is very affordable at 100+ since you already paid thousands for your camera. but silica gel do work cause people have been using it for a long time, i should think longer than dry cabinets, and they have kept their gear in a great condition. the only problem is really maintenance. can you imagine you have to keep checking whether they change in colour..for dry cabinets, you just keep it on and pay your electricity bills.haha.

as for recycling, i won't do that. i would just change it. it is too much trouble for 5 bucks as many have mentioned. and i don't like the idea of some chemical coming in contact with my food.
im actually curious how it affects us. If we touch it, be near it, inhale it or consume it? :think:

I think im gonna use my silica gels until the end of month and purchase the dry cabi at my next pay. Otherwise, my mum will scream at me and curse me into a frog for my BBB bonanza.
 

Jul 5, 2007
1,199
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0
AMK
#17
Not entirely. Many are aware but somehow forget as we do out hectic daily chores. But once a while to talk about product safety handling will be interesting.

And you are right. Even burnt oil can cause cancer and so is leaky microwave oven. Toxic items need more immediate attention as it leads to faster body damage.

anyways, information and all, i wonder sometimes whether we are overreacting to such health warnings

barbequed food, and bbqs themselves are a writhing nest of carcinogens, both inhaled and ingested. but we do it now and then anyways. :bsmilie:
 

Jul 5, 2007
1,199
0
0
AMK
#19
It is also essential to determine which carcinogenic material are we likely to affected based on individual environment. I feel that there is no need to shun away from blue silica gel as the material used in camera, mobilephone, the food, smoke, microwave oven and the medicines will hit user first than the gel.

Althought the blue dye in silica gel is bad, it does not affect most in general situation. For various instances, it is not something you eat like candy (children might mistaken). Since silica bounces around, one tends to pour slowly, so dust does not get far. While we smell at an freshly baked cake, we don't do that to post baked silica gel and you have to seal it to cool down before reuse.

While people gets reactive over the word carcinogen, they overlooked the forward danger of word "toxic" material which will cause faster biological failure.

It is also important not to assume all non dye silica gel is safe for food mix as the source may not be clean and contain toxic chemical.

Nevertheless, any chemical must be handled with minimal contact where possible.
 

maxpersg

New Member
Jun 29, 2009
21
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0
Singapore
#20
i think some people get the misconception.. Its NOT the SILICA GEL which is carcinogenic, but the blue indicator, cobalt chloride. They are normally inhaled as dust particles when we subject it to abrasion or external forces during transfer, heating, etc. Silica gel is generally a safe and inert chemical and those used in food are normally food-grade chemicals. Hence, its not advisable to even use those white silica gels to keep your food dry.

Ya its true that we are always exposed to common items which are in a way hazardous to our health. Its just the way we react to such information.

When i didnt read about such articles, i was still playing with those tiny blue balls on my hand and amazed by how hygroscopic it can get when i drip water on it. LOL man. Than after reading, i think twice before even handling them.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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