We get a fair number of people coming to this blog for the answer to the question of whether or not you can really get lead poisoning from a pencil. so we thought we’d address it briefly.
Is Pencil Lead Poisonous?
The answer is, ‘No.’ Not possible…not even from a whole box of pencils.
Why not? Because there is no lead in a pencil.
Yes, it is called ‘pencil lead’ but what it really is is graphite, a totally different substance from lead. Graphite is not a metal, but a mineral formed from carbon. If you are interested in learning more about this take a look at where does pencil lead come from?
The graphite used in pencils is more or less harmless, as the US National Institute of Health explains on their website where they discuss the problems you may encounter if you inadvertently swallowed a pencil. basically, you are unlikely to experience any symptoms if you swallow pencil lead or are inadvertently stabbed by a pencil. at worst you may experience a mild stomach ache or possibly be sick.
So, getting stabbed with a bit of pencil lead, or swallowing some, is not going to give you lead poisoning. Of course, there would still be a hole in you from the stabbing, and swallowing bits of wood and other foreign material is a choking hazard, as well as a threat to your digestion.
Probably best just to use your pencil for writing.
(On a related note, you also cannot get ink poisoning from a pen.)