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I would say probably not but am not an expert. I look at them this way everyone says once they hit the air they start to work so what that is saying is that the meds you take are probably at least a weeks worth or maybe more? That absorber has been working for a while now. Remember when you throw them in food and seal it up it is only a few hours worth of time from opening and sealing it up again.
They go pretty quick. When I bought a hundred-pack to store some food, the directions said to have them all sealed up within 45 minutes. Which was a challenge! A partial factory package couldn't be resealed effectively, according to the manufacturer.
They got warm to the touch in a matter of minutes, just sitting out in room air. That's an aggressive reaction. So to answer your question, prolly not.
It is my understanding that the tear open packets of hand and toe warmers are essentially the same thing as O2 absorbers but are readily available at Costco and other places. I am wondering if anyone knows if they are as safe to use in contact with foods as the O2 absorbers? I was looking at them today and I did not see any obvious sign of how large they are....as in how many CC's so I would not know how many you might need for a given size of container.
The hand warmers are iron powder mixed with sawdust, which do indeed make their heat by absorbing oxygen. The commercial oxygen absorbers use something other than sawdust, but they generally contain iron.