It is a common sight in India to see people eating slate pencils.
This is most common among children and adolescents, who are drawn to the practice because of the purported health benefits. These benefits include weight gain, increased energy, and improved digestion. However, there are no scientific studies to support these claims.
In fact, it may seem harmless, but eating slate pencils can lead to several health problems. The slate pencils are made of lead, which is a toxic substance that can result in lead poisoning, which can cause several serious health problems.
If you or someone you know is addicted to eating slate pencils, this post will help.
In this post, I will share everything you need to know about slate pencils, such as their benefits, side effects, how to stop eating them, and more.
Let’s start with how are slate pencils made.
How are slate pencils made?
Slate pencils are made from a slate rock and are, therefore, named slate pencils. They are sometimes also made with soapstone rock.
Slate is packed with minerals like clay, mica, and quartz. It is a very dense and hard rock and therefore is ideal for writing and drawing.
In India, slate pencils are made from a sedimentary rock called shale (the same rock used to make tiles and bricks).
Slate pencils come in various colors, which is one of the reasons why they look pretty cool.
Why are slate pencils so tasty?
The humble slate pencil has been around for centuries, and it’s still used today. But why are slate pencils so tasty?
There are two reasons why slate pencils are tasty.
First, slate pencils are made of a type of rock called soapstone. Soapstone is a soft rock that contains a high amount of talc. Talc is a mineral that gives soapstone its characteristic slippery feel. It’s also what makes slate pencils so tasty.
Second, it might be possible that you are suffering from pica, an eating disorder characterized by the compulsive consumption of non-food items. This includes dirt, paint chips, hair, paper, and slate pencils.
People with pica often find these substances tasty and continue to eat them.
The addition of clay and mud gives slate pencils an earthy taste, which most people find delicious. However, are there any benefits to eating it?
Are there any benefits of eating slate pencils?
While slate pencils are a good source of calcium, magnesium and calcium carbonate, they are not beneficial for your health. In fact, eating them might lead you to certain diseases in the future.
Also, no studies or research suggests slate pencils as edible and have benefits.
Most people eat them because they think they might help them get the calcium their bodies need, or they suffer from pica.
If you are addicted to eating slate pencils and can’t stop, here are some possible side effects that you might not know yet.
Side effects of slate pencils
- Slate pencils contain calcium carbonate, which may be harmful, especially when taken in excessive amounts, as it may cause kidney stone formation.
- Eating slate pencils can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, stomach pain and constipation.
- Eating slate pencils can cause problems for your teeth. The abrasive nature of slate pencils can damage your tooth enamel and make your teeth more vulnerable to decay.
- Eating slate pencils can cause a loss of appetite, resulting in nutritional deficiency.
- During pregnancy, most women crave various things due to hormonal imbalances. And if women eat slate pencils during this period, this might put their unborn baby at risk of malnutrition. The carbon and lead in slate pencils can cause the unborn baby to have learning or behavior problems.
- Slate pencils consist of lead, which, as per studies, is a toxic material that can damage each and every function in your body. Even consuming lead in a small amount can lead to severe mental and physical health problems.
How to stop eating slate pencils?
No miracle drug or wand can make you stop eating slate pencils. If you want to quit this habit, you need to have self-control.
Here are a few things you can do to help stop eating slate pencils.
- Create a distraction. If you feel the urge to eat slate pencils, do something else to distract yourself. This could be reading, watching a movie, or talking to a friend.
- Most people eat slate pencils, thinking it might help them improve their calcium levels. And while it might do, it also comes with several health risks. There are plenty of healthy foods that can help increase your calcium levels.
- If the above solutions don’t help you, Talk to a doctor or healthcare professional. They can help you identify the underlying cause of the behavior and develop a plan to stop it.
How to remove slate pencils from the stomach?
If you or your child have accidentally swallowed slate pencils, there is no need to panic. Because Slate pencils contain minerals like quartz and calcite. These minerals do not remain in the body and pass through the stomach and are eliminated in the stool without causing any problems.
If you are concerned, you can drink warm water to help flush the slate pencil out of your stomach. You can also take a mild laxative to help speed up the process.
However, quickly show a doctor or professional if you have abdominal pain or other side effects.
Slate pencils might be the first addiction for many people because of their delicious taste, but eating them is unhygienic and unhealthy for your body.
They are addicted, which may cause overeating resulting in kidney stones, gastrointestinal problems, tooth damage, appetite loss, and lead toxicity.
Although there are no studies done on the benefits and side effects of eating slate pencils, it is best to avoid eating them for health reasons.
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FAQs about slate pencils
Eating slate pencils during pregnancy is not safe in any way. In fact, eating during pregnancy might result in several problems, such as congenital disabilities in the unborn baby, low levels of iron in the body, and digestive issues.
You are supposed to eat healthily during pregnancy.
There are no such studies or sources that claims eating slate pencil cause cancer.
Eating slate pencils does not cause weight gain directly, but they can cause digestive issues. Poor digestion can lead to weight gain.