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what are the effects if rust is injested into the human body?
For example cooking with a pair of tongs(only two weeks old)that shows rust on the outside?
- dylan hawn (age 29)
san diego,ca usa
As long as the tongs are clean a bit of rust will not harm you. Rust is really iron oxide, a rather benign substance in small quantities. You probably shouldn't eat a pound of it though.
(published on 06/28/08)
Follow-Up #1: Is rust harmful?
I use water from a metallic tank to cook, bath and do other household chores. Now i noticed there is alot of rust in the tank that won't come off after washing it severally. This means i have ingested alot of rust and i am worried. Please tell me, what are the harmful effects of rust to the human body?
- Oghenero (age 30yrs)
I haven't heard of any harmful effects of rust, assuming it's just oxidized iron. It's true that sometimes too much iron in a person's diet can be harmful, but is there any reason to think that's happened to you? Here's a link describing what the Institute of Medicine thinks about iron inn the diet: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002422.htm
Of course, there could be a problem if the metallic container had some contamination with heavy metals, but just plain rust should be ok, I think.
(published on 09/15/11)
Follow-up on this answer.