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Q & A: Can you eat calcium?

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Most recent answer: 05/05/2011
Q:
could you eat calcium by itself if it is not in food?
- Hayley (age 13)
australia
A:
Not a good idea, Haley.  The body needs lots of calcium in the form of calcium carbonate, but not in the raw metallic form.  Pure calcium reacts strongly with water and would be quite corrosive to your tongue and esophagus.  The main chemical reaction is Ca + H2O --> CaO + H2  then if more water is present  CaO + H2O --> Ca(OH)2 .  CaO, calcium oxide is toxic as well as the  Ca(OH)2 , calcium hydroxide.   Bad stuff. 
There are several videos available that show what happens when you drop a piece of calcium metal in a beaker of water.  Go to Google and type in "reaction of calcium with  water". 

LeeH

(published on 05/05/2011)

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