What Happens If You Swallow Glass? You Won’t Believe it!

what happens if you swallow glass

Accidental swallowing of a non-food object is common. Usually, small and round objects naturally come out of your body without causing harm. But what will happen if someone swallows glass accidentally? 

OMG! Glass is a sharp object. What will it do to you?

The mere idea of swallowing a sharp object is the worst-case scenario. Isn’t it? It can compel you to think. What will glass do inside your body? Will swallowed glass pieces cut your throat or get stuck inside your body? 

Wait! Don’t freak out. Let’s find out what may happen next!

What happens if you swallow a glass? Tiny pieces of glass can pass out through your GI system without causing harm. But large pieces can pierce your mouth and throat, and injure the esophagus causing chest pain and internal bleeding. It may also lodge in the narrow slots of your GI tract.

Be cautious, and get medical help immediately.

The damaging effects of swallowing glass and other sharp objects depend on their size and shape. The big and sharp pieces of glass can damage your internal organs on their way to the gut and are more likely to get stuck in the throat or esophagus.

Let’s explore more aspects of swallowing glass!

What Happens If You Swallow Glass

Glass is 100% pure, toxin-free, and long-lasting. It is free of chemicals. But it is delicate and prone to breakage. Broken glass converts into sharp pieces that can cause serious injuries if you mess with these shards.

Can you imagine what happens happen if you swallow glass? Small and round glass pieces are not harmful if swallowed. It will come out of your system with undigested food. However, swallowing a large and sharp edges glass piece is dangerous. It may perforate your throat, and internal organs, including the intestine, and rectum.

Visit your doctor and get your examination because you can’t guess the internal injuries caused by the sharp glass pieces.

What Happens If You Eat Glass Fragments

Can you survive eating glass?

Eating glass fragments is not a good practice even if you eat glass for fun or adventure. Eating glass fragments is damaging. 

Eating glass is damaging but luckily, the victim usually survives. However, glass fragments can damage your teeth, and lacerate your mouth, and soft linings of the entire digestive tract, and bowel. But it will not harm you much if the glass fragments are very small just like glass beads.

Sometimes, glassware explodes due to some reason and gets mixed with food around. Be careful and lift away all glass fragments with attention.

what happens if you swallow glass shards

What Happens If You Swallow a Small Piece of Glass

What happens if you eat glass pieces?

It’s not a matter of serious concern if you swallow or eat very small, round, and blunt glass pieces. Because small pieces will pass through your gut without causing any adverse effects.

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Generally, small pieces of glass, coin, button, or beads will take 24 to 48 hours to come out through your digestive tract and cause no harm.

Symptoms of Swallowing Glass Shards

Swallowing glass shards can be a dangerous and life-threatening situation. It is important to know the symptoms of this medical emergency and when to seek medical help. Here is a table outlining the possible symptoms of swallowing glass shards:

Abdominal painSharp, intense pain in the abdomen
Bloody stoolsStools that are red or black in color, indicating the presence of blood
Chest painSharp, stabbing pain in the chest
Choking or gaggingThe sensation of something lodged in the throat, coughing or gagging
Difficulty breathingShortness of breath, wheezing or labored breathing
Difficulty swallowingThe sensation of something stuck in the throat, pain when swallowing
Nausea and vomitingFeeling sick to the stomach, vomiting
Throat painPain or discomfort in the throat
Visible cuts or bleedingVisible cuts or bleeding in the mouth, throat, or gastrointestinal tract
Weight lossUnintended weight loss due to difficulty eating or other complications

If you suspect that you or someone else has swallowed glass, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of glass ingestion vary depending on the size and quantity of shards ingested as well as an individual’s overall health and medical history. Thus, the possible symptoms listed here are not exhaustive. It is important to get checked out by a healthcare professional if you think you may have ingested glass.

Types of Glass and Their Likelihood to Cause Harm When Swallowed

Swallowing glass can be an incredibly dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation. But do you know the different types of glass that may be ingested, and how likely each is to cause harm? Here, we’ll explore the various types of glass and their likelihood to cause harm when swallowed. Read on to learn more!

Type of GlassDescriptionLikelihood of Harm
Tempered GlassA type of safety glass that is heat-treated to make it more durable and resistant to breakage.Low
Borosilicate GlassA type of glass that is resistant to thermal shock, commonly used in cookware and laboratory equipment.Low
Laminated GlassA type of safety glass that is made by sandwiching a layer of plastic between two sheets of glass.Low
Leaded GlassA type of glass that contains lead, commonly found in old windows and stained glass.Moderate
Annealed GlassA type of glass that is not heat-treated and is more prone to breakage than tempered glass.High
Mirrored GlassA type of glass that has a reflective coating applied to one side, commonly used in mirrors.High

It’s essential to keep in mind that any type of glass, regardless of its size, shape, and composition, can be hazardous if consumed. The potential risk involved varies depending on the individual’s age, health status, and other factors. To provide a better understanding of these risks associated with different types of glass, this table offers an overview.

Risk Factors That Increase The Likelihood of Glass Ingestion

Swallowing glass can be a concerning and potentially dangerous experience. Though not as common as other accidents, it is important to understand the risk factors that increase your likelihood of ingesting glass. Here, we will explore the various risk factors associated with swallowed glass and how you can prevent them. We will also discuss why it is essential to seek medical help if you do swallow glass. Get ready to learn more about the risks of swallowing glass and how you can reduce your likelihood of experiencing this issue.

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Risk FactorDescriptionLikelihood of Glass Ingestion
AgeChildren under the age of 5 are at higher risk of accidentally swallowing small objects, including glass.High
OccupationPeople who work with glass or glass products, such as glassblowers or glaziers, may be at higher risk of ingesting glass fragments or dust.Moderate
HobbiesPeople who engage in hobbies that involve glass, such as stained glass making or mosaics, may be at higher risk of accidental ingestion.Moderate
Mental health conditionsIndividuals with conditions such as pica, which causes them to crave and eat non-food items, may be at higher risk of ingesting glass.High
Alcohol and drug useIntoxication from alcohol or drugs can impair judgment and coordination, increasing the risk of accidental ingestion of glass or other foreign objects.High

It is essential to be aware that other factors can increase the risk of glass ingestion, such as eating or drinking while distracted, using inadequate containers for food or drink, or storing food or drink in fragile glass containers. To help raise awareness of this risk, I have compiled a table outlining some of the common potential causes of glass ingestion.

Symptoms of Glass Ingestion and Their Severity

Do you think it’s possible to swallow a glass? You might be surprised to learn that yes, it is indeed possible. But what happens after you swallow the glass? It can be a terrifying experience and have dangerous consequences, so it’s important to know the symptoms of glass ingestion and their severity. Here, we will show a table of Symptoms of Glass Ingestion and Their Severity. Read on to find out more about this potentially serious issue.

Mouth or throat painPain in the mouth or throat may occur immediately after swallowing glass, especially if the glass was sharp or jagged.Mild to moderate
Difficulty swallowingSwallowing may become difficult if the glass is lodged in the throat or esophagus.Moderate to severe
Abdominal painPain in the abdomen may occur if the glass has passed through the digestive tract and is causing irritation or damage.Mild to severe
Nausea and vomitingNausea and vomiting may occur as a result of irritation or inflammation caused by the glass, or due to the body’s attempt to expel the foreign object.Mild to severe
BleedingIf the glass has caused damage to the digestive tract, bleeding may occur, which can be a serious and potentially life-threatening symptom.Severe
Choking or respiratory distressIn rare cases, if the glass becomes lodged in the airway, choking or respiratory distress may occur.Severe

It is essential to be aware that the potential severity of symptoms caused by glass ingestion can vary from person to person. Factors such as size, shape, and type of glass ingested, age, health history, and other individual characteristics can all play a role in determining the extent of these symptoms. This table provides an overview of some possible symptoms associated with glass ingestion and their relative severity.

What Happens If You Swallow Fiberglass

Fiberglass is made of tiny and thread-like glass fibers and is non-toxic. But exposure to fiberglass may cause nose, skin, and lung irritation and itchiness.

Is it safe to swallow fiberglass? Fiberglass is small enough not to cause much harm if swallowed. But fine poky glass fibers may pierce into your mouth and throat, causing stomach irritation and soreness. While inhaling fiberglass can result in soreness in the nose, throat, and lungs.

Long-term exposure can also aggravate asthma and bronchitis. So, be careful and avoid direct contact while dealing with fiberglass. Don’t rub just rinse your hands or mouth if fiberglass sticks on your skin.

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What Happens If You Swallow Glass By Accident

What happens if your child swallows glass accidentally?

Swallowing anything sharp such as metal, open safety pin or glass can lead to a life-threatening situation.

Swallowing glass or a sharp object is dangerous. Because it may puncture the thin walls of your esophagus, stomach, and intestine resulting in bleeding and infection in the mediastinum. You may feel chest pain, abdominal pain, or blood in the stool.

Though swallowing glass is a rare situation yet it happens. In this case, call for emergency help. Don’t try to vomit or pull out the swallowed glass again and again. Because it can worsen the situation.

What Happens If You Swallow Glass Shards

What happens if you eat broken glass?

Shards can be dangerous to deal with because they are sharp pieces of broken glass. The adverse effects of swallowing glass shards depend on their size and sharpness.

It could be dangerous if you swallow the long, pointed, and sharp glass shards. These can lacerate or injure your throat and the thin walls of the gastrointestinal system. A long glass shard can also become lodged in the esophagus causing a threat.

However, broken glass pieces can be too sharp and cut your throat. So, defective and cracked glass objects must be disposed of properly to avoid accidental breakage and swallowing too.

What Happens If You Swallow Glass Dust

Glass dust is just like glass powder, crushed and ground. But glass dust can be a nuisance because it contains less than 1% free silica. Glass dust contains amorphous silica and is relatively less harmful as compared to glass.

What happens if you swallow glass dust? Nothing bad will happen if you swallow glass dust in very small amounts. But it can cause stomach irritation, vomiting, and asthma. Inhaling glass dust is particularly dangerous. It is carcinogenic and can cause respiratory tract infections.

But don’t make it a habit. Glass is undigestible. Its long-term inhalation or ingestion can cause cancer and stomach infections.

Statistics on the Prevalence of Glass Ingestion

Here is the table of statistics on the prevalence of glass ingestion and related health outcomes in different populations or regions. Let’s check out.

Population/RegionPrevalence of Glass IngestionHealth Outcomes
Children under the age of 5The most common age group for accidental ingestion of foreign objects, including glass.Can lead to choking, irritation, bleeding, and other complications.
Industrial workersA higher risk group is due to exposure to glass fragments and dust in the workplace.Can lead to respiratory problems, lung damage, and other complications.
People with certain mental health conditionsSuch as pica, which can cause cravings for non-food items including glass.This can lead to a higher risk of accidental ingestion and related health problems.
Certain geographical areasRegions with higher rates of poverty or lack of access to medical care may see higher rates of glass ingestion and related health outcomes.This can lead to delayed treatment and more severe complications.

What To Do If Your Dog Swallows Glass

It can be dangerous if your dog swallows a sharp object like metal or glass.

If your dog swallows glass, don’t try any home remedy, call your vet immediately. Because swallowing glass may injure the throat, esophagus, or gastrointestinal tract of your dog. Usually, small pieces of glass come out on their own without any symptoms.

Seek medical help and don’t try to induce vomiting. The vet knows best what to do in this situation.

Comparative Analysis of Glass Ingestion with Other Foreign Objects

Here is the table of comparative analysis of glass ingestion with other foreign objects swallowed accidentally, such as metal or plastic. Let’s check out.

MaterialDescriptionRisk of ComplicationsCommon Symptoms
GlassSharp or jagged fragments can cause cuts or tears in the digestive tract. Smaller fragments can cause irritation or inflammation.Moderate to severePain, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, choking, and respiratory distress.
MetalSharp or jagged edges can cause cuts or tears in the digestive tract. Some metals, such as lead or mercury, can be toxic if ingested.Moderate to severePain, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, metallic taste in the mouth, lead poisoning, mercury poisoning.
PlasticSharp or jagged edges can cause cuts or tears in the digestive tract. Larger objects can cause blockages or obstructions. Some plastics may release toxic chemicals when ingested.Moderate to severePain, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and toxic reactions.

Is It Dangerous To Swallow Glass

Is swallowing glass kill you?

Yes, it can kill you, though it’s rare but happens. Swallowing a long and sharp piece of glass may puncture your throat, whole GI tract, and intestine. It may cause serious multiple internal injuries resulting in severe pain, bleeding, and finally death. 

However, swallowing crushed or powdered glass is harmful to your body and can cause laceration, infection, and vomiting. But can’t be the cause of death.  It’s only a myth, it doesn’t happen in reality.

Can Stomach Acid Dissolve Glass

Stomach acid is a powerful substance that can dissolve many kinds of materials and even some types of metal. However, it cannot dissolve glass. This means that if you were to swallow a piece of glass, your body would not be able to break it down and it would remain intact as it passed through your digestive tract.

The consequences of swallowing glass can range from mild to severe. In some cases, there may be no symptoms at all, and the person who swallowed the glass may not even realize they did so until they see it in their stool. On the other hand, larger pieces of glass can cause lacerations in the throat or esophagus, leading to pain and irritation. In extreme cases, swallowed shards of glass may even puncture the stomach or intestines which can lead to internal bleeding and require medical intervention.

It is important to note that while stomach acid cannot dissolve glass, it does have an effect on it over time. As pieces of glass pass through the digestive system, stomach acid can wear away at their surface until they become so small as to pass safely out of the body without causing any damage. This process often takes several days or weeks, however, during which time there is an increased risk for adverse reactions such as lacerations and internal bleeding.

Given its potential for danger and lack of efficacy in breaking down foreign objects like glass, it’s important for people to avoid swallowing large pieces whenever possible. If you suspect you might have swallowed a piece of glass but are experiencing no symptoms at all, make sure to keep an eye on your stools for any evidence before discarding the possibility altogether.

What Happens If You Swallow Glass Cleaner

Generally, glass cleaners contain solvents, ammonia, and other harsh and toxic chemicals that help to remove the stain and clean glass surfaces.

Glass cleaners are toxic and their swallowing can burn your mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach. It can cause stomach pain, bloody vomiting, and throat swelling. Call for poison control center, if you swallow glass cleaner.

However, it can cause mild irritation, burning, and pain if swallowed in small amounts. Don’t eat or drink anything if you swallow glass cleaner. Get medical aid immediately.

Final Thoughts

Broken glass can cut anything that comes in its way just like a sharp knife. Similarly, swallowing or eating glass is dangerous as it can lacerate your mouth and the whole GI system. Plus, it can damage your teeth and internal organs. 

Essentially, swallowing glass can be an emergency because it’s essential to find out the severity of internal damage. It doesn’t matter how small a piece of glass you have swallowed. It’s important to have an X-Ray or MRI to diagnose the potential damage if any.

Make hurry. You need medical help if you swallow any type and size of the glass. Your doctor knows better how to handle this situation. Remember, Glass is fragile. Handle it with care & ditch your cracked glass objects to avoid potential swallowings and injuries as well.


  1. Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-swallowed-glass/basics/art-20056612
  2. WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/swallowed-glass
  3. Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/swallowed-glass
  4. Poison Control: https://www.poison.org/articles/2010-aug/swallowed-object
  5. National Institutes of Health: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002661.htm

James Randolph

Hey, James is here with you. This blog is a powerful online resource to help you get instant answers to your superstitious beliefs, facts, and the reality of myths. Knowledge is your inner guidance system, and this blog empowers you to update, refine, reorganize and enhance your communication system. If you know well you can surely discuss facts with evidence. So, stay with us and be a master of what happens around you!

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