Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade

Safety Concerns

Oregan State University Study

The following safety concerns were studied and addressed by the Oregan State University.

What are some signs and symptoms from a brief exposure to Diatomaceous Earth ?

  • If breathed in, Diatomaceous Earth may irritate the nose and nasal passages for some people who have sensitivities.
  • If an extremely large amount of powder or dust is inhaled, people may cough and have shortness of breath.
  • Drink plenty of water and this should pass shortly.
  • On skin, it can cause irritation and dryness.
  • Diatomaceous Earth may also irritate the eyes, due to its abrasive nature.
  • Any dust, including silica, can be irritating to the eyes.

What happens to Diatomaceous Earth when it enters the body?

When Diatomaceous Earth is eaten, trace amounts are absorbed into the body.

The remaining portion is rapidly excreted and this is particularly useful when removing worms or other gut parasites as the majority of the powder is working for you.

Small amounts of silica are normally present in all body tissue, and it is even normal to find silicon dioxide in urine.

In one study, people ate a few grams of Diatomaceous Earth for 7 days and after testing the amount of silicon dioxide in their urine was unchanged.

  • Amorphous Diatomaceous Earth (Food Grade)

After inhalation of amorphous Diatomaceous Earth, it is rapidly eliminated from lung tissue.

  • Crystalline Diatomaceous Earth (Toxic)

However, crystalline Diatomaceous Earth which is often called Pool Filter Grade, is much smaller, and it may accumulate in lung tissue and lymph nodes.

Very low levels of crystalline Diatomaceous Earth may often be found in pesticide products.

Pool Filter Grade Diatomaceous Earth must never be consumed in any form.

Is Diatomaceous Earth likely to contribute to cancer?

When mice were forced to breathe "Crystalline" Diatomaceous Earth for one hour each day for a year, there was an increase in lung cancers.

** NOTE: That this was for 12 months exposure on a daily basis.

When rats were fed Amorphous Diatomaceous Earth silica at a high dose for two years, there was no increase in cancer development.

** NOTE: That this was ingesting Diatomaceous Earth.

  • Most Diatomaceous Earth is made of amorphous silicon dioxide.

However, it can contain very low levels of crystalline silicon dioxide.

Amorphous Diatomaceous Earth has not been associated with any cancers in people.

What about the effects from long-term exposure to Diatomaceous Earth ?

In a rabbit study, researchers found no health effects after applying Diatomaceous Earth to the rabbits skin five times per week for three weeks.

In a rat study, researchers fed rats high doses of Diatomaceous Earth for six months.

They found no reproductive or developmental effects. In another rat study, the only effect was more rapid weight gain.

That study involved 90 days of feeding rats with a diet made of 5% Diatomaceous Earth.

When guinea pigs were forced to breathe air containing Diatomaceous Earth for 2 years, there was slightly more connective tissue in their lungs.

  • When researchers checked before the 2-year mark, no effects were found.

A very small amount of crystalline Diatomaceous Earth may be found in pesticide products.

Long-term inhalation of the crystalline form of Diatomaceous Earth (commonly referred to as Filter Grade) is associated with silicosis, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory problems.

  • Our Diatomaceous Earth is amorphous (safe), not crystalline (not safe).

The amorphous form of Diatomaceous Earth is only associated with mild, reversible lung inflammation.


Ingesting Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth showed no negative affects to the bodies of the test subjects and was thus considered safe to take on all levels.

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