Once again I’m sorry it’s been a while since my last past. We have a lot going on in our lives right now so blogging has been on the back burner. But today I want to talk about an interesting chemical called propylene glycol. First of all, does this even sound like something you want to ingest? Is it something you have in your kitchen cabinet to cook with? Um no. So why do companies use it and what is it?
PG is a petroleum based chemical found in antifreeze. It has lubricating properties and is approved by the FDA as a common food additive. PG acts a humectant that preserves moisture. It can also act as an emulsifier. It can also be a flavor carrier and stabilizer.
So it this stuff safe? Not really. Repeated small doses can cause throat irritation, headache, backache, and kidney problems. According to Naturalnews.com “In large quantities, studies have shown that it can cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and heart.” The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) even states that exposure to PG can cause skin, liver, and kidney damage!
All kinds of foods and body care products contain PG. I’ve seen it in salad dressing, protein bars, soda, gum, cake, ice cream, deodorant, vitamins, medicines, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Even Chick-fil-a’s Peach Milkshake contains propylene glycol. 😦
Bubbleandbee.com recommends avoiding PG in all your body care products and cosmetics. They state that it is a known skin irritant, possible endocrine disruptor, and possible neurotoxin.
Even if our food/cosmetics only contain small amounts I still feel that this additive should be avoided. At what point is it too much? And even if you think PG is safe in your body care products be careful. Propylene Glycol is a penetration enhancer meaning that it helps OTHER chemicals absorb into your bloodstream. And usually products that contain PG also contain other harmful chemicals like BHT, parabens, and pthalates. You DEFINITELY don’t what those in your body!
The good news is that you CAN find foods and products without propylene glycol. In fact, I noticed in Whole Foods the other day that several body care products even advertise “PG free.” Especially when it comes to food strive to make better choices. Buy PG free salad dressing (got some a while ago at Trader Joe’s) or better yet, make your own! Oil and Vinegar make a great dressing! Don’t drink soda. Make your own protein bars. Chew healthier gums like Spry (which I plan to review on here soon so keep your eyes open!). Buy organic ice cream (the Publix Greenwise Organic Vanilla Ice Cream is amazing!!) or make your own.
I hope this was helpful. Just know when you see PG listed on an ingredient list that it needs more than “parental guidance.” It needs “parental avoidance!” 🙂 Ok, that was cheesy. But you get the picture. 😉