Non-toxic glue is edible

Glue and adhesives: a danger to children?

When it comes to adhesives, there are numerous products with different adhesive mechanisms and different toxicity: 

Mostly contains cyanoacrylate. If it has dried on the skin, it can no longer be removed quickly. If only the skin is affected or drops have got into the mouth, the measures listed below are sufficient. The hardened glue is non-toxic. Attempts to rub, scrape, or remove the adhesive with solvents or gasoline are not recommended. This can lead to mechanical skin injuries or skin irritation. The adhesive falls off by itself within one to two days due to the natural peeling of the skin.

All-purpose glue with solvent
Contains substances such as B. alcohols, acetone, toluene and methyl ethyl ketone. They are harmless in the amounts that small children normally ingest in an accident. Symptoms such as dizziness and drowsiness are only possible if adhesive vapors are deliberately deeply inhaled. More problematic, however, is repeated sniffing of glue with improper intent, which, depending on the duration and intensity, can lead to consequential damage or to acute cardiac arrhythmias.

Craft glue for children
Are usually solvent-free. Polyvinyl acetate is a more common ingredient. Quantities that children try are harmless, also when chewing on hardened glue. No special measures are required.

Glue sticks
Glue sticks contain z. B. sorbitol, glycerine, polyvinylpyrrolidone. Here, too, small amounts ingested are harmless.

Pressure sensitive adhesives
Adhesive tapes, coating of self-adhesive labels or sticky notes as well as adhesive putty are toxicologically unproblematic. 

Specialty glue or commercial glue
Danger: Depending on their composition, there are also dangerous products here! 2-component adhesives or epoxy adhesives can be irritating to corrosive and certain adhesives based on polyurethane can swell strongly in the gastrointestinal tract and thus lead to foreign body problems.

  • Remove residues from mouth, wash out mouth well.
  • Give fat-free liquid (tea, water or syrup) to drink.
  • Clean skin with soap and water.
  • In the case of superglue, rub the skin repeatedly with oil or butter. In most cases, however, Tox Info Suisse recommends waiting.
  • Rinse eyes thoroughly with lukewarm water. If you feel a foreign body or show signs of eye irritation, an ophthalmologist should be contacted.
  • After taking a commercial adhesive, in addition to the measures mentioned, a doctor or Tox Info Suisse should be contacted to assess the risk.
Katharina Hofer, Christine Rauber-L├╝thy
November 2017