Propylene Glycol- An Important But Harmful Chemical Ingredient

Propylene Glycol- An Important But Harmful Chemical Ingredient

Propylene glycol (PG) is a colorless and unscented liquid chemical. It is utilized for a wide range of purposes. As it is considered non-poisonous in little quantities, it is utilized as the food additive, in makeup, pharmaceuticals and different modern commercial and industrial manufacturing.

Be that as it may, overconsumption of this liquid chemical can cause genuine medicinal conditions, for example, seizures in people. It can likewise cause damage to liver and kidney in animals.

Propylene glycol is a natural compound and regularly alluded as propane-1, 2-diol or 1, 2 propanediol. Propylene glycol is also termed as double alcohol. Generally, the compound goes as a relatively unscented, thick and colorless fluid but in fact, it has the dim sweet smell.

The essential fixing that is utilized for delivering this compound is propylene oxide. If it breaks down, this leads us back to raw petroleum (crude oil). Raw petroleum (crude oil) is used to make petroleum by processing and reacting which is further used to make propylene.

From propylene, propylene oxide is made, that is additionally used to get propylene glycol. As basic and simple as the chain may appear, this is a complete sequence, and each progression should be executed with perfection to yield the final item.

Sometimes glycerol is additionally used to deliver this thick and viscous fluid.

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Some amazing properties and uses of propylene glycol

Propylene glycol is amazingly dissolvable with water and numerous natural resin colors, natural solvents, and essential oils.

In actuality, the US Food and Drugs Agency (FDA) endorse it as an element for the consumption by human and animals. Some of the unique properties of propylene glycol are:

  • Propylene glycol as a humectant

A humectant absorbs and holds water to shield items from drying out. To stretch time span of usability, the sweet alcohol is added to mint candies, chewing gums, foods for the dog, different confectioneries, and cookies.

Snacks that are uncovered for a really long time would now be able to keep up their moisture.

  • Propylene glycol as an emulsifier

An emulsifier balances out a blend by holding or binding together at least two fluids that are ordinarily immiscible. It shapes a layer around oils contained in a blend with a specific end goal to shield them from gathering in the form of clumps.

Oils are scattered into beads, and the procedure protects the blend thusly. Ingredients of soda drinks and mayonnaise hold together by none other than propylene glycol.

  • Propylene glycol as a solvent carrier

A few fixings require a vehicle to be dynamic in a blend. Propylene glycol is an appropriate transporter in view of its neutral property and nature.

It conveys flavors and hues that give sustenance their one of a kind appearances and tastes. It likewise balances out the plate of mixed greens dressings, beer, and pre-made baked goods.

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  • Propylene glycol as a thickening agent

A thickener builds an item’s thickness or mass without altering significantly its different properties.Propylene Glycol- An Important But Harmful Chemical Ingredient

This is vital particularly with nourishment as the food additive ought not at all influence its taste or smell. Propylene glycol includes the coveted volume for cheeses, yogurt, and ice creams.

  • Propylene glycol in cosmetic products and toiletries

Propylene Glycol- An Important But Harmful Chemical IngredientFor cosmetic products, manufacturers mostly choose food grade propylene glycol. It gives lipsticks its steady surface and texture. Moreover, it retains the stability of oil-in-water emulsions and gives fixative to scents of perfumes and deodorants.

Moreover, it also helps to enhance the frothing/foaming capacity of shower creams, lotions, and gels.

  • Propylene glycol in the feeds of animals

As we mentioned earlier that propylene glycol is double alcohol, it has moisture absorbing property. Since it absorbs dampness, it additionally keeps the feeds of animals fresh and chewy. This makes it simple for canines and domesticated animals to process the sustenance.

This is even valuable during the winter season as it helps to diminish its point of freezing and reserve for longer periods. So even at below zero temperatures, the animal feed is as yet feasible for eating. Propylene glycol is additionally an accessible source of energy.

  • Propylene glycol in pharmaceuticals

For medications to be intense, the dynamic ingredients ought to be homogenized in the solution and still be powerful upon usage. Propylene glycol makes curing agent more soluble while disseminating it evenly in a chemical formula.

Patients are guaranteed that syrups, pills, and creams dependably contain the correct measure of the dose required.

Tips to be followed while working with or using propylene glycol

  • Ingestion of larger quantity

Devouring little measures of this liquid chemical shows no considerable dangers, however more than 3-4 oz. intake of this alcohol can cause side effects of queasiness, outrageous pain in stomach, or even vertigo or vomiting in few people.

In case a victim ingested substantial sums, do not actuate him/her to vomit. Call promptly the nearby toxin control center to get appropriate direction, guidance, and help.

  • Issues of breathing

Flash point of propylene glycol is around 225°F or 107°C. This is the significant temperature in which a substance will be changed over from fluid to gas at the regular atmospheric pressure.

It doesn’t generally cause respiratory issues in very much ventilated territories, however, can generally cause breathing troubles for a few people.

In case if victim experienced difficulty in breathing, he/she ought to be shifted instantly outside or to regions with proper ventilation. In severe cases, oxygen can be given as well.

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  • Contact with skin and eyes

Mellow skin aggravation might be experienced by subjects who are hypersensitive to the chemical. Just remove any garments on which it has been spilled. Wash skin zones that were uncovered with cleanser and water to calm the bothering.

In case uncovered territories create rashes, apply an antibacterial cream cure itching. Propylene glycol either vaporized or in liquid form can cause gentle eye aggravation particularly when it is concentrated. It can likewise cause tearing and slight transient conjunctivitis.

Wash eyes with chilled and running water to give alleviation.

  • Combustibility

At high temperature, propylene glycol can burst into flames at around 371°C or 700°F. It can likewise disintegrate rapidly and discharge harmful and poisonous fumes. Use water spray, water fog, foam or dry fire-suppression to extinguish the fire.

Dangers associated with propylene glycol

Propylene Glycol is to a great degree common ingredient with no medical advantages, in certainty, there are some genuine concerns related to it. The main reason this item is added to makeup items is on the grounds that it influences the skin to feel smooth.

  • Propylene Glycol is known to store in the kidneys, heart, and liver. This can cause certain defects and may debilitate the immunity.
  • Propylene Glycol can promptly absorb through the skin and scalp. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) notify clients to keep away from contact with skin and eyes.
  • Propylene Glycol may hinder skin cell development as appeared in human tests and can harm cell layers which can cause rashes and dry skin.

Last but not the least, read the mark on individual care items before purchasing and at whatever point conceivable, pick organic based skincare and beautifying agents. Especially when you are going to use them on the delicate skins of babies and young children.


The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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