Are Glue Sticks Toxic? When to Worry & What to Do

Glues sticks are one of the most commonly used adhesives for simple craft projects, especially in schools. This is why many parents are concerned about whether they contain any toxic substances that could be harmful to children.

So, are glue sticks toxic? Glue sticks are not toxic because they’re mainly made from PVA, water, and other harmless chemicals. They’re safe to inhale as they won’t emit any kind of harmful fumes when applied to a surface and they’re safe to get on your bare skin as they don’t contain any acids. However, it’s not recommended to ingest any amount of the glue as it might cause investigation and abdominal pain.

Keep reading to learn more about what glue sticks are made of and why they’re safe to use.

What You Need to Know About Glue Sticks

colorful glue sticks to answer are glue sticks toxic

Glue sticks are solid synthetic adhesives with wax-like consistency. They’re made from a combination of polyvinyl acetate (PVA), water, and other chemical substances.

They are very easy to use, even by children. They come in the form ofthem  twist or push-up tubes and they’re applied by holding the open tube while rubbing the exposed glue stick against a surface to spread the adhesive.

They provide good binding strength when working with various kinds of paper but they may not be as strong as other liquid-based adhesives.

This makes them ideal for use as stationary in offices and schools. They can also be used in some simple craft projects that do not require a high-strength adhesive.

There are many different brands of glue sticks that are sold at almost any supply store. You can also purchase them online for a very cheap price compared to other kinds of adhesives.

Are Glue Sticks Safe?

Glue sticks are considered one the safest kind of adhesives on the market as they’re made from a completely non-toxic PVA adhesive.

They are safe to inhale as they don’t emit any kind of harmful fumes applied to a surface. They also won’t cause any damage if they come in contact with bare skin as they don’t contain any acids.

However, they’re not completely safe to ingest and it’s recommended to keep out of your mouth.

What Happens if You Eat Glue Sticks?

Eating glue might cause some health issues depending on the amount of glue ingested.  

If you eat only a small amount of glue, you are unlikely to swallow it so it will remain stuck to your teeth or the inside of your mouth. The best course of action to take is to immediately spit the glue out and rinse your mouth with water.

However, if you eat a large amount of glue, you might accidentally swallow some of it which could cause a blockage in your digestive tract leading to indigestion, abdominal pain, and in some cases, nausea and vomiting as your stomach will have no way of breaking down the PVA.

Swallowing glue sticks is not necessarily poisonous or fatal, but it’s highly recommended to seek a medical professional for help.

Before you go, you may also want to check out this article on can glue stick to melamine.

Related Questions

Can Glue Sticks Be Harmful to Pets?

Glue sticks can be harmful to pets if they’re swallowed in large amounts. They won’t cause any fatal problems, but they might cause your pet some stomach issues such as indigestion and vomiting. If your pet tries to eat a glue stick, you need to take the glue out of its mouth and have it drink some water. If your pet swallows the glue stick,  it’s recommended to take it to a vet immediately to get proper treatment.

Are Glue Sticks Waterproof?

Glue sticks are not fully waterproof as they are made of PVA adhesive. They might withstand light contact with water but complete submersion will cause the glue to lose its binding ability. So, it’s recommended to use glue sticks on a dry surface and store them away from moisture.

Can You Fix Dried Glue Sticks?

You can fix dried glue sticks by placing them in a zip-lock bag along with wet paper towels. Seal the zip-lock bag and leave it for 8-12 hours before taking the glue sticks out and testing them. The moisture in the paper towels should soften the glue and restore it to its original state, however, it might not be as sticky or bond as effectively.

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