Is powdered alum dangerous? Need info for homemade crystal growing kit - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 12-21-2004, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I got this link from the TAO thread the $0 holiday challenge:

I am putting this together for my 8 yr old nephew who has a sister almost 2 yrs, and I was wondering about the alum, so i did a google, and found this:

Obviously the quantities are greater, but these were alarming:

"While searching the internet for information on alum, one of the small band of Bulahdelah residents who have been involved in fighting against ‘Option E’ since September, 2000 discovered that alum in powdered form is highly dangerous. During construction of ‘Option E’ hundreds of residents and schooled children would be subjected to not just dust which is known to affect many asthmatics but to massive amounts of powdered alum. The following information was found at a combination of websites, including that at:

Since the creation of this web page the above site has been altered and it is now necessary to search by country. Human beings, no matter which country they are from, are all of the same physiological makeup. And alum, no matter in which country it is located, has the same potential to cause physiological damage to human beings. Alum in powdered form is known to have caused the deaths of two adults who had ingested as little as thirty grams of alum powder. I wonder what the fatal dosage is for children!

Inhalation of alum in powdered for can cause:


Shortness of breath

Sore throat

And the finer the dust particles, the more deeply they are inhaled into the lungs.

Skin contact with powdered alum can cause:



Eye exposure to powdered alum can cause:



Severe deep burns

Ingestion of powdered alum can cause:

Abdominal pain

Burning sensation



And - at as little as 30 grams - death in adults

During the lengthy construction process of 'Option E', children would be swallowing powdered alum breathed in through their nostrils and mouths!

When stored in factories, alum powder must carry the ‘Hazard Identification’, “WARNING! HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT.” Alum hydrolises in water to form sulfuric acid. This is why powdered alum is corrosive to the eyes, mouth, respiratory tract and lungs. Why did this apparent safety hazard have to be discovered by private citizens instead of by the firm employed by the RTA to investigate the area involved? And why, as this matter was brought forth and passed on to PPK, the RTA’s consultants, in early 2002, has the Hon. Carl Scully not revoked his decision?"

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