Are handwarmers safe to use as oxygen absorbers?
No! At least according this post by Happy Preppers.
I’ve read several articles and seen YouTube videos saying handwarmers are exactly the same as oxygen absorbers only cheaper. But Happy Preppers point out they may contain a hazardous substance. Here’s the relevant part from their post on oxygen absorbers.
“There is no “dirty little secret” about oxygen absorbers.
Oxygen absorbers are not made the same as handwarmers! It’s true that
handwarmers, have an iron powder in them, along with activated charcoal
and sodium chloride, but handwarmers also include an inedible substance:
vermiculite, which may be harmful. (Vermiculite is linked to asbestos.)
Not only do handwarmers have vermiculite, which shouldn’t be around
your food, but the packets themselves are not considered food-safe.
Are handwarmers the same stuff as oxygen absorbers?
Now you know: they are made similarly, but they are not the same. You
should never use handwarmers in place of oxygen absorbers, since they
perform different functions. Because vermiculite sometimes can become
contaminated with asbestos, it’s not suitable for food use.
Why risk your health and why risk your valuable food storage by being
cheap on your oxygen absorbers? Don’t skimp! Oxygen absorbers are
food-safe, vermiculite free, and ideal for food storage. These hard working
little oxygen absorber packets keep oxygen in check to lock-in freshness
and lock-out microorganisms, insects and even moisture.”
There’s lots of other information in their post, so be sure an read the whole thing.
What say you fellow preppers? Are handwarmers a safe alternative to oxygen absorbers?
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