A Poison Control Center Employee Eats a Silica Packet to "Prove a Point" — Um, What?

Do you stay up at night wondering what happens when you eat silica beads? We don't either. But still, here's the answer to a question many never had.

Melissa Willets - Author

Nov. 3 2023, Published 12:51 p.m. ET

What does a poison control employee do when the phone isn't ringing? Now we know! And it isn't pretty.

"Have you ever wondered why those silica packets say 'Do not eat. Throw away,'" a TikTok creator who works in poison control asks at the outset of a viral video.

Um, no. I just assume there's a good reason and move on with my life.

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But not this woman. The creator, who shares content using the handle @pharmy2012, is going to answer the question no one asked — by eating the silica packet. Seriously. Read on for the stomach-churning details.

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What happens when you eat a silica packet? Well, nothing, apparently. But still — eww.

As the creator, Ashely — who says she's a pharmacist with poison control— goes on to detail, the silica packets, which can be found in shoeboxes and other shipping containers, warn against consumption because, well, you aren't supposed to eat them.

And yet, apparently we still need more information. As the poison control center employee goes on to explain, the beads inside the packets pose a choking hazard, "especially for little ones."

What's more, the beads are small, and make a mess, and kids may "stick them in places they're not supposed to."

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I'm already very convinced that the packets are garbage. But wait. There's more!

"What happens if you eat it?" she then asks, and proceeds to chomp down on a handful of the beads! For real.

Does she drop dead? Start foaming at the mouth? Fall over at least?

Nope. "Nothing," is what happens, according to her. However, the beads, which are included with certain goods to absorb moisture, "taste awful."

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Despite the little clear beads' unappetizing taste, Ashley will thankfully be OK. But we are left with one question: Why?

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What exactly was this person trying to prove by eating a silica packet?

If the gel packets aren't supposed to be eaten, and you are trying to prove that consuming the silica beads is not a good idea, why would you be snacking on them on TikTok?

Now that's the question I want answers to!

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Ashley — who often drops content about how various medications and poisons affect the body — says in the comments section of her post that she "was trying to prove a point." But what was the point?

Perhaps she was trying to get fired? After all, the legal team over at poison control can't be too happy about this video.

Consider that commenter after commenter (hopefully jokingly) said they were now going to move on from thinking that these packets were deadly poison, to enjoying them as a little nosh.

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Ultimately however, the pharmacist acknowledged that the poison control center gets so many calls from worried parents when their kids eat the contents of the packets.

Now, perhaps as long as our littles aren't choking on the beads — or getting them stuck up their noses — we can breathe a sigh of relief if a child gets a little too curious about what silica tastes like.

Um, thanks?

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