Drinking Glow Stick Liquid: What will Happen?

Short Answer: If you accidentally drink glow stick liquid, you may have minor irritation and upset stomach, but nothing serious.

A glow stick is a self-contained, short-term light-source that consists of a translucent plastic tube containing isolated substances that, when combined, make light through chemiluminescence.

The light cannot be turned off and can be used only once.

The used tube is then thrown away.

Glow sticks are often used for recreation, such as for events, camping, outdoor exploration, and concerts.

Glow sticks are also used for light in military and emergency services applications.

Industrial uses include marine, transportation, and mining.

If you accidentally drink glow stick liquid, you may experience minor mouth or throat irritation, and possibly some minor skin irritation and redness.

You may also have an upset stomach and some changes in taste.

These symptoms are often mild and short lived, but persistent or severe symptoms should be evaluated and treated by a healthcare professional.

This is because glow stick liquid contains diphenyl oxalate, hydrogen peroxide, fluorophore dyes, and dibutyl phthalate.

Diphenyl oxalate and hydrogen peroxide are the main ingredients that produce the light through a chemical reaction.

Fluorophore dyes are responsible for the color of the light.

Dibutyl phthalate is a solvent that helps dissolve the other ingredients.

Diphenyl oxalate can sting and burn the eyes, mouth, and skin.

Hydrogen peroxide can cause irritation and bleaching of the tissues.

Fluorophore dyes can stain the skin and clothing.

Dibutyl phthalate can act as a plasticizer, softening plastics onto which it leaks.

It can also interfere with hormone function and cause developmental problems.

It is quite common to drink glow stick liquid due to curiosity, especially among children.

Glow sticks are attractive and colorful, and children may not realize the potential harm of breaking them and ingesting the liquid.

You can treat minor symptoms of glow stick liquid ingestion by giving water and small snacks to help reduce the taste and upset stomach.

You can also wash the affected area with soap and water if there is skin contact.

If there is eye contact, you can flush the eyes with water for at least 15 minutes.

If symptoms persist or worsen, you should call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or seek medical attention.

To avoid accidental drinking of glow stick liquid, you should supervise children while they are playing with glow sticks.

You should also immediately dispose of broken glow sticks in the trash.

You should not cut or puncture the glow sticks, or expose them to heat or fire.

You should also keep glow sticks away from pets, as they may chew on them and cause similar symptoms.

Finally, remember, glow sticks are meant to be fun and useful, but not edible.

They contain chemicals that can cause irritation and discomfort if swallowed or contacted with the eyes or skin.

If you or someone you know has ingested glow stick liquid, do not panic, but follow the steps above and seek help if needed.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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