Silica gel is said to cause harm to the environment, especially aquatic animal life and water sources. Cobalt chloride-containing silica gel is an especially hazardous waste and should be disposed of as such to limit these harmful environmental effects. While some manufacturers have created silica gel with lower amounts of cobalt chloride in an attempt to reduce hazards. One company has created a unique silica gel product- Eco Blue, which indicates water saturation without using any of the harmful component cobalt chloride.
I’m sure you must have definitely seen silica gel packets but you just did not know that they were called so. Anyway, these packets are mostly found in a box of heels, shoes or any footwear. Not just footwear, even new bags and purses that you purchase. So what do you think it’s used for?
Silica gel packets are used to absorb moisture and keep things dry. They are exemplary to reuse throughout your home in places where you might be worried about excess moisture and that is the major reason who you shouldn’t throw these packets away. Some of the uses are as follows:
1)To save your phone from water damage i.e save your phone from dying due to drowning.
2) You can put them between towels to prevent them from being smelly and damp.
3)To keep your photos free from moisture.
4) To keep your important documents safe from spoilage.
5) Keep these packets in your gym bag to prevent bad odor.
6) To prevent foggy car windows by keeping these packets under your windshield.
Questions and precautions of silica gel packets
Are these packets harmful or not?
What happens if someone accidentally consumes it?
Alone, silica gel is non-toxic, non-flammable and chemically unreactive. However, some of the beads may be doped with a moisture indicator, such as cobalt chloride, which is carcinogenic. This Cobalt chloride is deep blue when dry (anhydrous) and pink when moist (hydrated). This is the reason most of these packets are labeled as dangerous or poisonous when eaten. Crystalline silica dust can cause silicosis but synthetic amorphous silica, which is what silica gel is, does not cause silicosis. The main reason for the warning on the packets is that finely ground silica gel can be a respiratory and digestive irritant. However, as long as the silica gel does not contain cobalt chloride, it is actually not poisonous to the body.
How it affects the environment