How Safe is Diatomaceous Earth – Cautionary Risks & Warnings?


Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is an extremely versatile substance with many different benefits and uses. One of the most commonly asked questions asked about diatomaceous earth, however, revolves around the safety of using it in the home, as a nutritious supplement, or as a pest control agent.

There are many different forms of diatomaceous earth, so answering this question isn’t as simple as providing a yes or no answer.

As a general rule, diatomaceous earth is completely safe as long as you’re using the correct grade of DE for your intended application. There are three main grades of diatomaceous earth, of which only one can be hazardous to health.

Food grade diatomaceous earth and pest control grade diatomaceous earth are both entirely inert and safe, free from chemicals or toxins and can be used around pets, children and food. Pool grade diatomaceous earth is the only form of DE that can present a health risk.

Pool grade diatomaceous earth is made by heating normal diatomaceous earth to temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees celsius. This treatment causes the silica in the DE to crystallize, creating a highly efficient pool filter.

Silica crystals can be hazardous to inhale, however, and should never be ingested, so always be sure to store pool grade diatomaceous earth external to your home in a clearly labeled container.

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe to Ingest?

Food grade diatomaceous earth is the only form of DE that has been classified by the FDA as safe to ingest. Millions of people around the world choose to supplement their diet with diatomaceous earth, reporting health benefits such as increased metabolic rate, higher energy levels and better digestive function.

It’s important to remember that the FDA, while classifying diatomaceous earth as GRAS, or generally regarded as safe, has not as yet expressly condoned the ingestion of DE as a health supplement.

If you’ve decided to incorporate diatomaceous earth into your diet, always be sure to use only food grade DE for this purpose.

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe to Use as a Pest Control Agent?

Pest control grade diatomaceous earth is one of the safest pest control agents available. Unlike other insecticides or pesticides, diatomaceous earth doesn’t contain any chemicals and works via a purely physical mechanism.

Pest control DE can be used safely around food preparation areas, children and pets.

While most DE pest control brands don’t add any extra chemicals to their product, never use pest control grade diatomaceous earth in lieu of food grade diatomaceous earth. Some brands add toxins and poisons to increase the efficacy of their product, making them unsafe to ingest.

Food grade diatomaceous earth can be used as a pest control agent, however.

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe to Handle?

Diatomaceous earth is completely safe to handle as it is completely inert and chemical free. However, the fine silica particles that compose DE can have the propensity to irritate the respiratory tract, eyes and sinuses if inhaled or transferred.

For this reason, always be sure to wear appropriate safety gear when handling DE. A pair of safety glasses, heavy gloves and a dust mask should be sufficient when handling DE.

Diatomaceous Earth Information Guide:

We have a wide variety of food grade diatomaceous earth resources for you look through to make your life a little easier and chemical-free. Please check out the other valuable resources and versatile application uses for silica-rich diatomaceous earth below:

Please reach out regarding any information above. In the future, more share-worthy useful enhancements, experiences and effects of diatomaceous earth will be added as the benefits continue to pile up. Always welcome for more insight and awareness, click the button to see the most recommended beautifully blended product that combines both high quality food grade diatomaceous earth powder and pure organic silica together in one formula.

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