Propylene glycol is an organic colorless, odorless compound, which easily mixes in water, acetone and chloroform.
Uses Of Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol has varied application, such as:
- Its use for pharmaceutical purpose is well known, it is included in oral, injectable and topical preparations.
- It is also used as a food additive and preservative. It protects food from freezing.
- Propylene glycol is used as an emulsifier and moisturizer.
- In fragrance oil, propylene glycol is used as a carrier.
- It is sparingly used in food colors and flavorings.
- Propylene glycol is used in antibacterial lotion, and hand sanitizer liquids.
Though propylene glycol is considered to be safe if it is present in minimal amount in pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics, it becomes a health hazard if exposure to this chemical is large by way of ingestion or by inhalation.
Propylene Glycol Dangers
Following are the propylene glycol dangers commonly noted if ingested in large amount
- Damage to kidney and liver.
- If liquid propylene glycol is spilled on the skin, it may cause skin irritation and burning. Washing with plain water will relieve the symptoms after few hours.
- Pain in abdomen, vomiting and nausea are symptoms observed when propylene glycol is accidentally ingested in large amount.
- Piles and diarrhea are other health dangers associated with excess of propylene glycol ingestion.
Side Effects Of Propylene Glycol
- If gaseous form of propylene glycol in inhaled, there may be breathing difficulty; in certain cases oxygen supplementation may be necessary.
- Propylene glycol can cause irritation in eyes, causing burning of eyes.
- Propylene glycol is extremely flammable therefore it should be stored with all precautions.