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Remember that kid who always ate paint in elementary school? Well, chances are he’s probably not the brightest crayon in the box these days. That’s because ingesting paint can cause lead poisoning, which can lead to irreversible brain damage and slow physical and mental development in children. In all seriousness, eating paint or paint chips can adversely affect both children and adults and even lead to death in serious cases.
As a nursing major, Florida native Tempestt should’ve known better than to eat soap. The 19-year-old ate as many as five bars of soap a week during a stressful time in her life, ignoring both the warning labels and her medical knowledge just to get a fix. However, she experienced a change of heart, sought help for her addiction, and hasn’t eaten soap ever since. Ironically, she’s never been cleaner.
A 22-year-old woman named Krystin used to lick chalk as a child, but her craving for it soon led her to secretly ingest it. When she recently revealed her secret addiction to family and friends, she asked them if they would try it. None of them liked it. Go figure.
Attention from the media was not the only thing a Portland family attracted when they rushed their toddler to the emergency room. The little girl, who had been experiencing severe stomach pain, swallowed 37 “Buckyball” magnets that tore three holes in her lower intestine and one in her stomach. When doctors initially examined the x-ray, they thought she had ingested a bracelet, but it was actually the magnets that had formed a ring in the girl’s stomach.
Whether unintentionally or on purpose, more than 3,500 Americans swallow batteries each year. Doing so can lead to serious health problems such as renal failure should the mercury within the battery escape into the bloodstream. If left in the stomach for too long, gastric acids will eventually corrode the battery’s outer layer and cause mercury poisoning. Due to the large number of illnesses caused by battery ingestion, they are now designed to be more acid resistant.