Is zinc oxide safe to ingest?

Let’s face it – people will always find ways to eat things that they’re not supposed to. Tide pods were just a fad, so now we’re moving on to more advanced topics like zinc oxide. While this white powder might be commonly used as an ingredient in ointments and sunscreens, some individuals are curious about its safety for ingestion purposes.

So, is zinc oxide safe to ingest? Let’s dive into the topic and see what it’s all about!

What is Zinc Oxide?

Before we go further down the rabbit hole of whether eating sunscreen ingredients is a good idea or not (spoiler alert: it’s not), let’s break down what exactly this substance is.

Zinc oxide is a compound made up of the elements zinc and oxygen with the chemical formula ZnO. It naturally occurs as the mineral known as “zincite,” but can also be produced synthetically through various chemical reactions.

Zinc oxide has many industrial applications including use in rubber manufacturing, ceramics production, pigments for paints and coatings manufacture, plastics compounding (as a UV stabilizer), lubricants formulation (for corrosion resistance properties) among others.

Properties of Zinc Oxide

Like most substances out there that people are curious about using sneakily, zinc oxide has several unique features:

  1. White in color.
  2. Odorless.
  3. Insoluble in water.
    4.Absorbs ultraviolet light efficiently.

Yes readers! The last one makes it excellent at blocking harmful rays from your skin when applied topically as sunscreen; however ‘eatability’ was left out of said properties because obviously you should never eat cosmetics or skincare products!

Can You Eat Zinc Oxide?

The answer here couldn’t be simpler: NOPE! Please do not consume anything containing zinc oxide such as sun creams or diaper rash ointments. Just because edible sunscreen doesn’t exist, does not mean that you should go grinding up an off-the-shelf sun cream to sprinkle on your morning eggs.

First of all, the quantity of zinc oxide found in a standard suncream is verily way too much for our body to naturally digest – levels beyond what we’ve ever experienced through food-based consumption. Even the common side effect reported by those who have overused topical zinc oxide products includes irritation and immunological reactions let alone oral digestion which can be toxic.

Furthermore, Zinc oxide is highly stable chemically and thus it will not easily break down nor be absorbed into your system at an intended rate once consumed or topically applied post expiration date or usage instructions . So why would anyone attempt it?

Health Risks of Ingesting Zinc Oxide

It’s best practice to avoid any substances and chemicals going out of their intended use/function domain as long-term exposure has its consequences no matter how insignificant they appear initially. Eating zinc oxide would fall under this category; however if you happen to take the plunge despite universal advice against such acts here are some health risks worth being acquainted with:

  1. Nausea: The cleanliness factor when handling items supposed for application on skin surfaces versus ones for treating inside our bodily organs understandably differ!

  2. Vomiting: Sticking points aside from possible debris contamination , vomiting may occur upon ingestion due to both chemical composition /toxicity level/.. note could result !

3.Diarrhea : Like many poorly manufactured goods sold as ‘edibles’, settling in intestines triggers bowel discomfort reactions leading one down this path quite often!

4.Kidney damage: This organ along with others must filter out everything that comes through our digestive tract (not just foods). Too much exposure/toxin load/too soon without said organs or natural remedies having had time to process/outwardly dispose of those compounds via stomach or other bodily functions, can lead to very negative reactions on the kidneys consequently harming kidney function apart from other sensitive organ systems within your body.

Should someone ever unfortunate enough to consume even trace amounts of Zinc oxide through ingestion means, it is recommended they immediately seek medical attention for optimal aid and diagnosis – this holds paramount importance.

The Bottom Line

There you have it folks! This concludes everything along with our public service announcement that eating sunscreen gels or formulations holding unsavory chemicals /toxins (like zinc oxide) are not going to provide any nutritional benefit . While there may be some potential health risks in consuming too much-zinc over extended periods, one would never intentionally do so if following instructions as detailed. It’s always better-safe-than- sorry so go ahead and stick to applying the correct products topically.

Stay safe under the sun with appropriate Dermalogist-consulted SPF based creams instead of making your tongue suffer for no good reason whatsoever!

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