ATSDR - Toxic Substances - Propylene Glycol
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Propylene Glycol

CAS ID #: 57-55-6

Affected Organ Systems: Dermal (Skin), Renal (Urinary System or Kidneys), Respiratory (From the Nose to the Lungs)

Cancer Effects: None

Chemical Classification: None

Summary: 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.

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    Summary about a hazardous substance taken from Chapter One of its respective ATSDR Toxicological Profile.

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  • Toxicological Profile

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  • Addendum to the Profile (PDF, 220KB)

    Addendum to the Toxicological Profile for Propylene Glycol (December 2008)

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  • Case Study in Environmental Medicine (CSEM)

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