I am a school nurse and care for a student that takes activated charcoal capsules daily. My concern is that the student chews the capsule, I'm concerned about the powder affecting the respiratory system if it is inhaled while being consumed
You are right to be concerned.
For many years activated charcoal has been considered an inert substance void of serious complications. However we now know that instillation of charcoal into the lung can have serious consequences.
Accidental administration of charcoal directly into the lungs has resulted in Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
You should suggest that your student swallows her capsule whole with a glass of water. It should not be chewed or crushed.
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