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ToxicFree Foundation / Ingredient Database / Propylene Glycol
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    Propylene Glycol


    Propylene Glycol

    What is it?

    Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. Propylene glycol is also used to make polyester compounds, and as a base for deicing solutions. Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products. It is a solvent for food colors and flavors, and in the paint and plastics industries. Propylene glycol is also used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and in theatrical productions. Other names for propylene glycol are 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 1,2-propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol. Propylene glycol is clear, colorless, slightly syrupy liquid at room temperature. It may exist in air in the vapor form, although propylene glycol must be heated or briskly shaken to produce a vapor. Propylene glycol is practically odorless and tasteless.

    More Information

    Routes of exposure
    The substance can be absorbed into the body by inhalation of its vapour and by ingestion. 

    Inhalation risk
    A harmful contamination of the air will not or will only very slowly be reached on evaporation of this substance at 20°C. 

    Effects of short-term exposure
    The substance is irritating to the eyes. 

    Effects of long-term or repeated exposure
    Repeated or prolonged contact may cause skin sensitization.



    Propylene Glycol Table (Uses, Risks, Key Points):

    This ingredient is commonly used in: