Pencils are writing instruments. This article discusses the health problems that may occur if you swallow a pencil.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Graphite poisoning; Swallowing pencils
Despite common belief, pencils have never contained lead. All pencils are made of graphite, which is a soft form of carbon. Carbon is a completely different element than lead.
- Regular pencils
Review Date: 02/01/2010
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.