Believe it or not, there is something that strongly connects French fries and antifreeze. If you research both these things a bit, you`ll find that both of them contain the same ingredient, which is propylene glycol. This chemical is added not only to antifreeze, but also to medications, foods and cosmetics to retain moisture and prevent freezing.
According to the CDC and the FDA, small doses of this compound are safe for human use, so it`s no wonder you can find it in your shampoo, ice cream, fries, boxed cakes or anxiety meds.
Still, European governing authorities have banned the use of propylene glycol in food production. The question is: do they know something that US government doesn`t? Most definitely.
The CDC issued a report on propylene glycol, stating that it causes no harm to human health. Or as they say:
“There are no studies confirming any respiratory, endocrine, renal, dermal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, ocular, hepatic, musculoskeletal or body weight effects.”
This does not mean that the chemical is not dangerous, just that there are no sufficient studies and research to confirm the negative effects it has on human health. So, despite what we know about the chemical, CDC is giving a green light.
These are only some of the negative effects on our health caused by propylene glycol:
Kidneys and liver damage:
You can find the chemical in many IV medications, like anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam. According to some studies, a great number of people using this particular medication for some time have suffered kidney damages and malfunction. After a while, the kidney stops processing compounds normally.
This chemical is also dangerous for people who already suffer from liver issues.
Possibly dangerous for infants:
The ones who claim that propylene glycol is safe for human use say that our body can metabolize the chemical quickly, which means that it does not stay long enough in our body to cause any harm.
It`s true that adult bodies metabolize it quite quickly, but it can still cause some damages while still in the body. This damage is even greater in infants, because their bodies are not able to metabolize it fast enough.
In this case, the term infant applies for children up to 4 years of age.
Allergic reactions and skin irritations:
Propylene glycol is found in some anti-inflammatory meds like corticosteroids. According to a study, this often goes as an unrecognized cause of allergic contact dermatitis. The chemical can cause a short allergic reaction after consuming some products that contains it, which raises the question whether the chemical is actually safe.
Propylene glycol can also be found in e-cigarettes, and researchers have been warning us about this because it can cause some neurological problems like:
- Behavioral changes
- Ataxia (rarely, only in extreme cases)
- Mood swings
Ways to avoid propylene glycol
It`s not that easy to avoid this chemical, it`s not always enough to check the ingredient label on the product and see if it contains it. Propylene glycol can also be found under the following names:
- Methyl ethylene glycol
- A-Propylene Glycol
You can find it in the following products:
- Body wash
- Skin cream
- Baby wipes
- Salad dressing
- Frozen desserts
- Flavored coffee
- Medications: For this issue, consult your doctor or pharmacist, to see if the meds you are using contain the chemical. The best option is turn to natural remedies as a replacement for the medications containing propylene glycol.