Are Silicone Rings Toxic?
In 2020 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that some silicone breast implants might be putting people at a higher risk of developing a rare cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL). That announcement led many people to be concerned about the potential risk of other silicone products, including products like silicone rings. It’s important to understand when an ingredient like silicone might be dangerous, and why it’s generally safe when it’s a silicone ring.
What is BIA-ALCL?
BIA-ALCL is the abbreviation for breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. ALCL is a rare cancer that develops in the lymph nodes and/or skin. In some situations the FDA has learned that certain silicone breast implants lead to a higher risk of developing this type of cancer. It was enough of a concern that they issued a warning to anyone who has gotten certain types of implants, but it’s also important to note that they have said more research is necessary to determine the exact relationship and risks.
In general, studies have revealed that women with an implant that has a textured surface could be at higher risk of developing this type of cancer. Other types of silicone, including those that are worn on the outside of your body or ones that come in contact with your skin or body—for example, silicone medical devices or silicone household products—have not been shown to have any risk of causing cancer.
What Other Things Can Cause Silicone to be Toxic?
Silicone rubber is a material that is made from one of the most abundant materials in the earth, silica sand. This sand is formed into a base material called silicon (without the “e”), which is then combined with other naturally-occurring elements to make silicone rubber. The most common ingredients that go into making silicone rubber are oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Depending on the type of silicone rubber that you want to make, you can add other ingredients at the time to create different types of polymers.
In general a silicone rubber is a very “stable” material, which means that it will not break apart even under extreme temperatures like heat. However, silicone is not a completely stable material, so there is a slight chance that parts of the silicone rubber could leach out from the material and mix with food or drinks that are in contact with the silicone. This is extremely rare, and regulatory agencies all over the world (including the FDA) have determined that silicone rubber is safe for contact with your body, food, and water.
Some silicone products can contain fillers or additives that are designed to make the silicone less expensive, or to create other properties for certain types of products. For example, some silicone rubber might include additives that make it better able to withstand higher temperatures, while others might have additives to make it capable of withstanding specific contact with other chemicals. In industrial applications these additives are useful to ensure that the silicone you use can get the job done that you need. For example, a silicone rubber seal applied to a rocket that is going into space must be able to hold up even when it’s exposed to extreme heat during liftoff.
Those types of applications are often unique to specific industries, and not generally used for silicone products that you would purchase for your home. However, it is important to know where you are buying your silicone and make sure it’s a company you trust to give you the product that they promise without any fillers or additives.
Are Silicone Rings Risky to Wear?
The general answer for this question is no, silicone rings are very safe to wear for most people, but there are a few caveats.
First, as mentioned above, you should be purchasing a silicone ring that is medical-grade and designed for biocompatibility. Not all silicone rubber is biocompatible (meaning it can safely be in contact with your skin), so shop with trusted companies like Enso Rings to make sure you get what you pay for in a silicone ring.
Second, it’s important to know whether you have a silicone rubber allergy. These are very rare, but someone with an allergy to silicone rubber would probably have a skin reaction when wearing a silicone ring, even if it were made of medical-grade silicone. You can get tested for silicone allergies using a skin patch test administered by a medical professional.
Finally, you should follow all the instructions to care for your ring properly. That means cleaning it regularly with soap or mild detergent and warm water, sterilizing it after it comes in contact with harmful or potentially harmful substances, and taking it off from time to time to let your skin “breathe” and not always have the ring touching the skin.
Get a Safe, Comfortable, Amazing Silicone Ring
Silicone rings are a great accessory and offer safety, comfort, and durability beyond what a traditional metal ring can offer. Check out all the styles today at Enso Rings.