Can You Die From Eating Hot Glue?

A liquid adhesive that is extracted from animal tissues and is used for joining objects or materials together is called glue. The usage of glue ensures that numerous materials can be joined together irrespective of the type of material. This means that with the help of glue, any type of material can be fixed. One type of glue that is frequently used is hot-melt adhesive or hot glue.

Hot glue is one type of thermoplastic adhesive having numerous industrial uses. Additionally, it can be used at home as well. It is better than other water-based or solvent-based solvents as it is stronger which results in hot glue being an ideal option to be used in manufacturing processes. But are there any life-threatening risks if you accidentally eat hot glue? The likelihood of dying from eating hot glue is minimal but it can have negative effects on health.

Key Takeaways

  • Hot glue is made from a thermoplastic polymer which makes hot glue both non-toxic and eco-friendly.
  • High temperatures are needed for a hot glue gun to be effective so there is a risk of skin burns and causing damage to the surfaces if it is not applied carefully.
  • When hot glue is eaten, it will not take your life but it will cause severe stomachaches and cause your gastrointestinal region to be blocked.

Production of Hot Glue

Although the manufacturing process of all glues is not the same, the majority of glues are made using the protein produced by animal bodies. This protein is known as collagen and by heating collagen at high temperatures, glue can be extracted.

Hot glue is made with the help of thermoplastic polymers merged with wax, tackifiers, and mobilizers so that the polymers have adhering capabilities. This means that at high temperatures, hot glue becomes adhesive and shapeable. After cooling down it re-solidifies which allows it to join items together having an extremely quick setting speed.

Production of hot glue

Are Polymers Injurious to Health?

Are polymers injurious to health

Polymers play a vital role in making hot glue, therefore it is important to know whether they have any kind of adverse effects on health. When numerous chemicals known as monomers are joined together, this results in the formation of polymers. The monomers used in the production of polymers are more toxic than the actual polymer itself. The heating, cutting, or maneuvering of polymers can lead to harmful dust and vapors being released into the environment. The polymer known as ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) contains a compound called vinyl acetate which can have a negative impact on the heart, nervous system, and liver.

What Makes Hot Glue Non-Toxic?

This is because of the ingredient used in the production of hot glue. The key ingredient is a thermoplastic polymer. This thermoplastic polymer is melted and applied in the form of a hot liquid that solidifies after cooling down. Since thermoplastic polymers do not release any harmful emissions, this results in hot glue being non-toxic. So much so that they are considered to be the most environmentally friendly glues that can be found.

What makes hot glue non toxic

Safety Issues Associated with Hot Glue

Safety issues associated with hot glue

Hot glue is safe to use and it doesn’t pose any health threats. Still, one thing needs to be taken into consideration which is, a hot glue gun works in the molten state only. This essentially means that in order to make the most out of hot glue, exposure to high temperatures is needed.

If precaution and safety measures are not taken, then issues like skin burns or damaging the surfaces where the glue is applied will emerge. The usage of heat-resistant adhesives is a great way to not get any type of skin burn. Since hot glue is mainly used inside a hot glue gun so when it is being used, don’t hold the gun by hand. Additionally, make sure that children are away from the hot glue gun.

How to Deal with Burns Caused by Hot Glue?

Treatment should be done depending on the degree of the burn. It is possible to treat first-degree at home. In order to quicken the healing process, it is important to submerge the burn in cool water for some time. After that, you can choose to either apply an anesthetic cream or an antibiotic ointment. Lastly, cover the burn with a plaster.

For second and third-degree burns look for medical attention immediately by rushing to the hospital. Paramedics will come to your aid as they are medical professionals who are specialized in emergency treatment.

How to deal with burns caused by hot glue

What Will Happen If You Eat Hot Glue?

What will happen if you eat hot glue

If you end up eating hot glue, do not worry as it does not pose any life-threatening risks. But there is a possibility of dying due to choking. It is not safe to consume hot glue as you will experience serious aches in your stomach. Besides, your digestive system will be affected too. Even if hot glue is non-toxic, the digestion of hot glue will cause severe health problems. When too much hot glue is consumed, this will result in the gastrointestinal region getting blocked which will ultimately lead to abdominal pain. But this is the not only problem. Other problems include throat pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and indigestion.

Why Would Someone Eat Hot Glue?

An eating disorder which is is known as Pica results in people eating things that are normally considered to be inedible. If a person has Pica, then he or she might have a craving for items such as paper, dirt, glue, or even chalk and crayons.

Why would someone eat hot glue

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Top 5 Applications of Hot Glue

Hot glue can be used in a wide variety of ways making it a highly versatile tool. Hot glue is versatile as it can be customized according to your needs by adding other materials or additives to the polymer. Additionally, hot glue dries off in a relatively quick time, is highly flexible, and is very strong making it a great choice to be used in manufacturing processes. The most common uses of hot glue are:

Applications of hot glue

1. Packaging and Sealing of Cartons

Hot melt adhesives or hot glue is a type of glue that can be easily shaped. Also, it usually remains solid and stable at room temperature. When used for packaging, it is used in a molten state. Once hot glue is applied, the seal becomes rigid and rigorous, keeping the packaged item safe and sound.

2. Envelopes, Bags, and Cardboard Sealing

Envelopes, cardboard, and paper bags have a big reliance on hot glue. This is is because hot glue makes a powerful link making it ideal for holding paper, cardboard, and other materials. Hot glue gives a flexible and long-lasting hold irrespective of whether the application is a manual or automatic system.

3. Binding books

Since book-binding is a specialized process, it requires a special type of glue instead of any store-bought glue. In this regard, using hot glue to bind books is a great option. Among the different options through which paper and covers can be attached together, industrial hot glue is an excellent choice. This is because it dries off relatively quickly and is flexible as well.

4. Construction

Hot glue is a great choice when used to build and construct things. Hot glue is usually used for attaching carpet and flooring. When hot glue is used, it improves the way the new flooring looks since there is no need of using nails and staples.

5. Manufacturing of Textile

Hot glue is commonly used not only at the start of synthetic fabric production but at the end as well. Hot glue is frequently used in other manufacturing processes as well such as polymer processing, conversion of textiles in cars, home furnishing, and carpeting.


1. Is it safe to eat hot glue?

It is not safe as issues such as abdominal pain, throat pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and indigestion will arise if too much glue is swallowed.

2. Is hot glue toxic-free?

If hot glue is used in the correct way and at the right temperatures, it does not release any toxic fumes making it toxic-free.

3. Can hot glue cause a fire?

If hot glue is used in an area that isn’t ventilated properly and suitable temperatures are not present, it will cause a fire to break.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to versatility, no other glue matches the versatility of hot glue. It can be used in multiple ways starting from sealing and packing cartons up to manufacturing textiles making it one of the most frequently used adhesives for industrial manufacturing purposes. However, when working with hot glue, care needs to be taken otherwise there is a risk of skin burns since it is a strong adhesive capable of pulling the skin apart. Hot glue isn’t toxic hence there is no health concern. if hot glue is eaten either willingly or unwillingly, many issues such as abdominal pain, throat pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and indigestion will occur. Thus it is important to make sure that hot glue doesn’t make its way into the mouth.

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Todd Smith is a trained ecologist with five years of experience in environmental conservation and sustainability. He has a deep passion for promoting sustainable practices and has developed a thorough understanding of the natural world and its complex interconnections.