Pica is an eating disorder characterized by the ingestion of non-edible substances. Occurring in 10-30% of children under the age of 6, pica can also be a symptom of schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), pregnancy, and developmental disorders. Younger children commonly ingest paint, hair, and cloth while older children commonly eat rocks, sand, and even feces. Adults suffering from pica typically ingest clay or dirt (called geophagia) but reports have included people eating lead, plastic, erasers, fingernails, wood, and even glass! Obvious problems can arise from pica including toxicity, intestinal blockage, bacterial infections, and nutritional deficiencies.

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