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  #1  
Old 02-13-2008, 02:26 PM
elmwood elmwood is offline
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Colloidal oatmeal baths: relaxing soak or POOL OF POISON?

My girlfriend, label reader that she is, had a look at the packet of colloidal oatmeal I used for one of my baths.

"Did you see this? Look here ... KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN ... IF INGESTED, CALL POISON CONTROL ... you want that on your body?

Huh? Plain old colloidal oatmeal bath powder is poisonous? Despite the warning label -- yes, a warning label -- I can't believe it. Googling around revealed nothing. I mean, c'mon ... it's oatmeal, not potassium. What's the Straight Dope on oatmeal baths?

Last edited by elmwood; 02-13-2008 at 02:28 PM..
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2008, 02:49 PM
JR Brown JR Brown is offline
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Can I ask for a brand and/or ingredients listing? If the stuff contains salt, epsom salts, preservatives, etc. then I can see the need for a warning. If it's just oatmeal, I dunno; maybe it's not food-grade, or it's not processed in food-certified facilities, or something.

JRB
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2008, 03:09 PM
scout1222 scout1222 is offline
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JR might be on to something. Some people are idiots and might think that this oatmeal soak can double as a nutritious breakfast. They focus on the word "oatmeal" and neglect to think about what else might be in it?
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2008, 03:27 PM
xnylder xnylder is offline
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Sorry I can't find a more definitive cite, but this site quotes a "safety health expert" as saying:

1. Table salt: A little as half a teaspoon to an infant or a tablespoon to a toddler can cause damage to his central nervous system.

If this soak contains salt, as many soothing bath soaks do, it would be a very good idea to call poison control if a young child ate some.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2008, 03:34 PM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
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It's a standard disclaimer in case a toddler decides to consume some laxative oatmeal-flavored epsom salts.
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  #6  
Old 02-15-2008, 07:00 PM
elmwood elmwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR Brown
Can I ask for a brand and/or ingredients listing? If the stuff contains salt, epsom salts, preservatives, etc. then I can see the need for a warning.
100% colloidal oatmeal. That's all.
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  #7  
Old 02-15-2008, 09:39 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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What is "colloidal" oatmeal?
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  #8  
Old 02-16-2008, 12:29 AM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
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Fifty-cent word for powdered oatmeal. I didn't know that, either.
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2008, 01:03 AM
treis treis is offline
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It almost certainly won't do anything bad to you if you eat it. However, things that are made to be eaten are made to a different standard than those that aren't. There is a chance, however unlikely, that something like industrial cleaner or whatnot made it into your bath oatmeal. In reality though, these warnings are just legal CYA for the company. Its ground up oats, not rat poison.
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Old 02-16-2008, 04:53 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood
My girlfriend, label reader that she is, had a look at the packet of colloidal oatmeal I used for one of my baths.

"Did you see this? Look here ... KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN ... IF INGESTED, CALL POISON CONTROL ... you want that on your body?
Good lord - does she wear cosmetics? Are those good to eat? No? Then why would she put them on her face? What about nail polish? Shampoo? Soap? Would she eat her bra? No? But she puts it on her body!!!!



My sister used to make do her own colloidal oatmeal for her daughter with severe eczema. Take ordinary Quaker Oats, run through blender. Of course, that was food-grade to start with. The "dire warning" on the commercially available stuff is either due to additives or it's a CYA thing.
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  #11  
Old 05-02-2013, 12:04 PM
woo haa woo haa is offline
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Hi,

Just found this question searching it. The warning is purely for those who are allergic or sensitive for any reason. For example, many are allergic to gluten. Gluten is not present in oatmeal but it may be a contaminant due to cross contamination at the factory. So, this is really one of those generic disclaimers, like the warnings about eating something that's been produced where they also produce nuts.

Last edited by woo haa; 05-02-2013 at 12:06 PM.. Reason: sp
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2013, 04:06 PM
papergirl papergirl is offline
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It's also a very fine powder, so there might be the danger of inhaling it like any other powder. Otherwise, it's just oatmeal.
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  #13  
Old 05-02-2013, 04:35 PM
bump bump is offline
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You want to see scary, look at the warnings on a box of baking soda in case you take it as an antacid.
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2013, 07:19 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Make your own colloidal oatmeal at home.

Pssst!

It's just grocery store oatmeal you grind up using a blender, a food processor, a coffee grinder, mortar and pestle, etc. One can infer the branded colloidal oatmeal has extra ingredients to justify the exorbitant price to gouge the masses and claim additional, alleged medicinal properties.
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  #15  
Old 05-02-2013, 10:56 PM
moriah moriah is offline
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Dry oatmeal expands a lot when a lot of water is added. Also, if just a little water is added, it can become like thick paste.

Neither scenario is good for a child eating it dry.
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2015, 10:26 PM
Missmarie Missmarie is offline
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Relaxing soak

It's very good for relieving horrible itchiness and good for skin. Colloidal oatmeal is not edible.
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  #17  
Old 11-30-2015, 10:43 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missmarie View Post
It's very good for relieving horrible itchiness and good for skin. Colloidal oatmeal is not edible.
Everything is edible at least once.

Everything is air-droppable at least once.

That includes zombies.
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  #18  
Old 11-30-2015, 10:45 PM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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"Colloidal" is another one of those words that make things seem like magic to the ignorant. All a colloid is is a suspension of particles in a liquid, and such particles are sufficiently small in size where they don't settle to the bottom of the liquid.

"Colloidal oatmeal." What a crock.
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  #19  
Old 12-01-2015, 10:03 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treis View Post
It almost certainly won't do anything bad to you if you eat it. However, things that are made to be eaten are made to a different standard than those that aren't. There is a chance, however unlikely, that something like industrial cleaner or whatnot made it into your bath oatmeal. In reality though, these warnings are just legal CYA for the company. Its ground up oats, not rat poison.
This is it. It's probably just oatmeal, but not manufactured and packaged under the strict standards needed for food products.
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  #20  
Old 12-01-2015, 10:29 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
"Colloidal" is another one of those words that make things seem like magic to the ignorant. All a colloid is is a suspension of particles in a liquid, and such particles are sufficiently small in size where they don't settle to the bottom of the liquid.

"Colloidal oatmeal." What a crock.
Not a crock, according to NIH.

Doesn't shed any light on the warning label, though.
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  #21  
Old 12-02-2015, 03:56 PM
brossa brossa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moriah View Post
Dry oatmeal expands a lot when a lot of water is added. Also, if just a little water is added, it can become like thick paste.

Neither scenario is good for a child eating it dry.
I am reminded of the book The Emigrants, in which a four year old girl gorges herself on porridge that has not soaked sufficiently. The grain continues to swell and swell in her belly until her bowel ruptures and she dies.

That would probably not happen with ground-up oatmeal, but I think moriah is right in that a couple of spoonfuls of powder could make a pretty solid sludge in the GI tract.
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  #22  
Old 12-03-2015, 12:51 PM
sitchensis sitchensis is offline
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Originally Posted by brossa View Post
That would probably not happen with ground-up oatmeal, but I think moriah is right in that a couple of spoonfuls of powder could make a pretty solid sludge in the GI tract.
The stuff we have has mineral oil in it, so I think it's a self-correcting problem.
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  #23  
Old 12-04-2015, 02:10 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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By the time one is finished soaking oneself in it, I probably wouldn't eat it.
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  #24  
Old 12-05-2015, 07:26 AM
Isilder Isilder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Not a crock, according to NIH.

Doesn't shed any light on the warning label, though.
Thats his retirement paper.. his swan song... the fat lady singing. He got mentioned only in a few papers from 1970 .. and its an opinion piece beating up the presence of 'phenols' in oats.
They published it, but how credible is it, does the paper even say that there is any actual effect of the phenols as anti inflammatory ? The greater benefit might be that the skin absorbs about a pico-gram of starch.. hey thats like eating !. Why not just eat it ? The paper doesn't suggest why eating a few oat grans wouldn't be far more effective...

Last edited by Isilder; 12-05-2015 at 07:31 AM..
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