Here is a closer look on a popular ingredient called Propylene Glycol. It is a well known ingredient, but do you know everything about it? Here is some great info on Propylene Glycol.
Propylene glycol is a colorless, odorless liquid that is miscible with water. Propylene glycol is one of the most widely used ingredients in cosmetics. It is also used in foods and pharmaceuticals. Propylene Glycol is a skin conditioning agent that has the ability to attract water and act as a moisturizer in cosmetic formulas.
Propylene glycol is GRAS by the FDA. The safety of Propylene Glycol has been assessed by the CIR Expert Panel and they concluded that Propylene Glycol is safe for use in cosmetic products at concentrations up to 50%. The concentration limit of Propylene Glycol that was set by the CIR Expert Panel was based on the results of human irritation and sensitization tests, because it was noted that patients with diseased skin may be susceptible to developing irritation/sensitization reactions to Propylene Glycol.
The National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risk to Human Reproduction (CERHR) Expert Panel in 2003 reviewed the reproductive and developmental effect of Propylene Glycol. The CERHR Expert Panel concluded there is “negligible concern for reproductive or developmental toxicity to humans.” Propylene glycol is listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia and is included in New and Non-Official Remedies as a proper ingredient for pharmaceutical products.
According to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union, Propylene Glycol may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives recommends a maximum daily oral intake of 25 mg Propylene Glycol/kg body weight/day.
Propylene glycol is not acutely toxic, it is essentially non-irritating to the skin, not a sensitizer and mildly irritating to the eyes. Studies of Propylene glycol have shown that it does not cause reproductive, developmental, teratogenic, genotoxic effect and it is not a carcinogen. It is readily biodegraded in water or soil.
Many of the misconceptions about Propylene Glycol are based on inaccurate information caused by confusing it with another ingredient, Ethylene Glycol. Ethylene Glycol is toxic and is widely used as automobile antifreeze; Propylene Glycol is not.