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Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol Toxicity
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Course: WB 1103
CE Original Date: October 3, 2007
CE Renewal Date: October 3, 2010
CE Expiration Date: October 3, 2012
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Key Concepts

  • Ethylene glycol ingestion first affects the central nervous system (CNS). After a characteristic latent period, signs of inebriation may be followed by serious illness and even death, caused by toxic metabolites.
  • Propylene glycol, which is much less toxic than ethylene glycol, is metabolized to compounds that are normal constituents of the citric acid cycle.
  • No health effects have been reported in persons chronically exposed to ethylene glycol or propylene glycol at levels found in the environment.

About This and Other Case Studies in Environmental Medicine

This educational case study document is one in a series of self-instructional modules designed to increase the primary care provider’s knowledge of hazardous substances in the environment and to promote the adoption of medical practices that aid in the evaluation and care of potentially exposed patients. The complete series of Case Studies in Environmental Medicine is located on the ATSDR Web site at URL: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.html. In addition, the downloadable PDF [496 KB] version of this educational series and other environmental medicine materials provides content in an electronic, printable format, especially for those who may lack adequate Internet service.

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See Training and Continuing Education Online for more information about continuing medical education credits, continuing nursing education credits, and other continuing education units.

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®)

CME: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Commission on Accreditation

CNE: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is accredited as a provider of Continuing Nursing Education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. This activity provides 1.75 contact hours.

National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC)

CHES: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is a designated event for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) to receive 1.5 Category I contact hours in health education, CDC provider number GA0082.

International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)

CEU: The CDC has been approved as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102. The CDC is authorized by IACET to offer 0.15 IACET CEU's for this program.

Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge the work that the medical writers, editors, and reviewers have provided to produce this educational resource. Listed below are those who have contributed to development of this version of the Case Study in Environmental Medicine.

Please Note: Each content expert for this case study has indicated that there is no conflict of interest to disclose that would bias the case study content.

ATSDR Authors: Dianyi Yu, MD

ATSDR Planners: Valerie J. Curry, MS; John Doyle, MPA; Bruce J. Fowler, Ph.D.; Kimberly Gehle, MD; Sharon L. Hall, Ph.D.; Michael Hatcher, DrPH; Kimberly Jenkins, BA; Ronald T. Jolly; H. Edward Murray, Ph.D.; Delene Roberts, MSA; Oscar Tarrago, MD; Dianyi Yu, MD

ATSDR Commenters: Bruce J. Fowler, Ph.D.; Kimberly Gehle, MD; Edward Murray, Ph.D.

Peer Reviewers: Carl Andrew Brodkin, M.D., M.P.H.; Javier C. Waksman, MD

Disclaimer and Disclosure

Disclaimer

The state of knowledge regarding the treatment of patients potentially exposed to hazardous substances in the environment is constantly evolving and is often uncertain. In developing its educational products ATSDR has made a diligent effort to ensure the accuracy and the currency of the presented information. ATSDR, however, makes no claim that the environmental medicine and health education resources discussed in these products comprehensively address all possible situations related to various substances. The products are intended for educational use to build the knowledge of physicians and other health professionals in assessing the conditions and managing the treatment of patients potentially exposed to hazardous substances. The products are not a substitute for a health-care provider’s professional judgment. Please interpret the environmental medicine and the health education resources in light of specific information regarding the patient and in conjunction with other medical authorities. Use of trade names in ATSDR products is for identification purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Disclosure

In compliance with continuing education requirements, all presenters must disclose any financial or other associations with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters as well as any use of unlabeled product(s) or product(s) under investigational use. CDC, our planners, and the presenters for this seminar do not have financial or other associations with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters. This presentation does not involve the unlabeled use of a product or product under investigational use. There was no commercial support for this activity.

Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine
Environmental Medicine and Educational Services Branch

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