4 doctors weighed in:

Is it unhealthy to eat paper if you don't swallow?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Randy Baker
Holistic Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Could be dangerous

Most paper contains traces of dioxin, a byproduct of bleaching with chlorine.
Dioxin is a carcinogen and an extremely toxic chemical. It is not considered hazardous to touch these products, but it is possible that if you "eat paper" even without swallowing that some of the dioxins will be absorbed into your body. I would not take this chance. Unbleached paper is relatively safe. See comment:.

In brief: Could be dangerous

Most paper contains traces of dioxin, a byproduct of bleaching with chlorine.
Dioxin is a carcinogen and an extremely toxic chemical. It is not considered hazardous to touch these products, but it is possible that if you "eat paper" even without swallowing that some of the dioxins will be absorbed into your body. I would not take this chance. Unbleached paper is relatively safe. See comment:.
Dr. Randy Baker
Dr. Randy Baker
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Randy Baker
I don't know why you or someone you know would "eat paper" but eating normally undigestible things is called "pica" which can be related to deficiencies of iron, zinc or other nutrients or associated with a variety of other disorders. This deserves evaluation. See http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/914765-overview#a1 for more info on pica.
Dr. Henry Ng
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics

In brief: Eating paper

I think by definition, eating implies swallowing/ingesting.
So my answer is maybe. Paper itself may not be very dangerous, but the inks and chemicals in it may be. Also, eating paper may represent pica and be associated with anemia or other health conditions. Talk to your health provider about it.

In brief: Eating paper

I think by definition, eating implies swallowing/ingesting.
So my answer is maybe. Paper itself may not be very dangerous, but the inks and chemicals in it may be. Also, eating paper may represent pica and be associated with anemia or other health conditions. Talk to your health provider about it.
Dr. Henry Ng
Dr. Henry Ng
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Board Certified,
46 years in practice
16M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors