Rarely kept, and yet so useful… Found in shoeboxes, in most parcels or even in high-tech products, silica gel has been used for years by major industries.
Patented by chemistry professor Walter A. Patrick in 1919, reports Ouest France, it was notably used to operate gas masks during the First World War.
To his curriculum vitae was then added the maintenance in good condition of penicillin during the Second World War. A use at first sight completely different and yet identical… But then, for what purpose is this small bag of white beads placed in our products?
According to Benefits, absorbing moisture is its primary function. Indeed, this tiny bag assures today’s manufacturers that the ordered item will not be affected by the humidity level.
This, if too high in the box, could in any case damage the purchased product. To deal with this eventuality, due to the vagaries of transport between the factory and the store, a few balls are therefore systematically placed there.
The Poison Control Center says no: “The sachets contain a substance called silica gel (silica), a very pure and dry form of sand. […] These grains are not absorbed by the body and are not toxic. After ingestion, drinking a glass of water is sufficient.” However, Moderate Ouest France, is added to its composition toxins such as cobalt chloride, in order to stimulate its effects. So be careful.
Absorbing moisture in shoeboxes is not their only effect. The slideshow below presents tips for reusing silica gel sachets at home, according to an article in Avantages.