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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Antifreeze in your store-bought baked goods

I was looking at some baked goods a patient brought in for us and decided to look this "ingredient" up.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL



Propylene glycol is used:
As a moisturizer in medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, mouth wash, and tobacco products
In electronic cigarettes to make the produced vapor better resemble cigarette smoke
As a medical and sexual lubricant (A.K.A. "personal lubricant")
As an emulsification agent in Angostura and orange bitters
As a solvent for food colors and flavorings
As a humectant food additive, labeled as E number E1520
As a carrier in fragrance oils
As a less-toxic antifreeze
As a solvent used in mixing photographic chemicals, such as film developers
In smoke machines to make artificial smoke for use in firefighters' training and theatrical productions
In hand sanitizers, antibacterial lotions, and saline solutions
In cryonics
As a working fluid in hydraulic presses
As a coolant in liquid cooling systems
To regulate humidity in a cigar humidor
As the killing and preserving agent in pitfall traps, usually used to capture ground beetles
To treat livestock ketosis
As the main ingredient in deodorant sticks.
To deice aircraft.






Fragrance Ingredient; Humectant; Skin-Conditioning Agent - Humectant; Skin-ConditioningAgent - Miscellaneous; Solvent; Viscosity Decreasing Agent; SKIN CONDITIONING; VISCOSITY CONTROLLING


Given the incomplete information made available by companies and the government, EWG provides additional information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature. The chart below indicates that research studies have found that exposure to this ingredient -- not the products containing it -- caused the indicated health effect(s) in the studies reviewed by Skin Deep researchers. Actual health risks, if any, will vary based on the level of exposure to the ingredient and individual susceptibility -- information not available in Skin Deep.
This ingredient:
Cancer
Developmental/reproductive toxicity
Violations, restrictions & warnings
Allergies/immunotoxicity
Contamination concerns
Other strong concerns for this ingredient: Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Enhanced skin absorption
Other moderate concerns for this ingredient: Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
Lesser or emerging concerns for this ingredient: Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Ecotoxicology, Data gaps, Biochemical or cellular level changes

See products containing PROPYLENE GLYCOL
About PROPYLENE GLYCOL: Propylene glycol is practically non-toxic when taken orally, i.e. added to food. However, it has been found to provoke skin irritation and sensitization in humans as low as 2% concentration, while the industry review panel recommends cosmetics can contain up to 50% of the substance.
PROPYLENE GLYCOL has reported used in the following product types: hair color and bleaching (1442); facial moisturizer/treatment (1089); moisturizer (935); conditioner (680); anti-aging (668); shampoo (597); styling gel/lotion (555); facial cleanser (541); body wash/cleanser (509); foundation (497)
Potential health effects
Eye
Causes mild eye irritation. Contact may cause irritation, tearing, and burning pain.
Skin
Causes moderate skin irritation. Contact with the skin may cause erythema, dryness, and defatting.
Ingestion
May cause gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Low hazard for usual industrial handling. May cause hemoglobinuric nephrosis. May cause changes in surface EEG.
Inhalation
Low hazard for usual industrial handling. May cause respiratory tract irritation.
Chronic
May cause reproductive and fetal effects. Laboratory experiments have resulted in mutagenic effects. Exposure to large doses may cause central nervous system depression. Chronic ingestion may cause lactic acidosis and possible seizures.

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