Is Propylene Glycol Bad For You?
Also Known As: Propane-1,2-diol, E-number E1520
Many studies indicate propylene glycol is generally safe for humans. Effects, when they do occur, are mild and normally only become noticeable after prolonged exposure.
View Full Grading System
'N' stands for neutral. Things placed into this category are (a) neither good nor bad for you, or (b) lack the necessary evidence to reach any conclusions.
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Side effects are rare. Things rated an 'A+' are typically necessary for survival (for example, water).
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. A few harmful qualities may be associated, but only under certain circumstances such as an allergic reaction.
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Harmful qualities may be associated, but aren't usually serious.
It is important to note that even the best things in life can become bad in immoderate amounts. So, although something may be rated an 'A+', overconsumption/overdoing can bring unwanted effects.
Very beneficial to your health. Things rated a 'B+' may have a few harmful qualities to pay attention to.
Overall beneficial to your health. Things rated a 'B' may have some harmful qualities to pay attention to.
More beneficial to your health than not. However, harmful qualities are most likely associated and shouldn't be overlooked.
The main difference between category 'A' and category 'B' is the harmful qualities typically present in 'B' items. Serious side effects are usually uncommon, but are still possible and should be taken note of.
Both beneficial and harmful qualities associated. Things rated a 'C+' are typically a bit more on the beneficial side. Still, moderation is important.
A fairly even ratio of beneficial and harmful qualities. Moderation is important. Very general topics that can lean towards both sides of the spectrum will be placed here as well. Rice, for example, can be good or bad depending on the type.
More harmful than beneficial. Side effects are common, especially when consumed/done excessively. Moderation is very important.
Category 'C' usually denotes to both good and bad qualities. When it comes to this category, it is important to keep this word in mind: moderation.
Harmful to your health. Although benefits may be associated, the bad most likely outweighs the good. Moderation is very important.
Harmful to your health. A few benefits may be associated, but the bad outweighs the good. Moderation is extremely important.
Harmful to your health. Very few, if any, benefits are present. Things in this category should be avoided as much as possible.
Category 'D' is typically for things that are more harmful than beneficial. While consuming/doing something unhealthy once in a blue moon shouldn't hurt, we definitely recommend eliminating 'D' items as a regular part of your routine/diet.
Category 'F' is for things that fail to bring anything beneficial to the table, and are very harmful to your health. We recommend completely avoiding anything in this category. Long-term side effects of 'F' items are usually very serious.
'N' stands for neutral. Things placed into this category are generally (a) neither good nor bad for you, or (b) lack the necessary evidence to reach any conclusions.
Propylene glycol is a water-soluble derivative of hydrated propylene oxide that has a wide range of applications. It is a colorless and odorless synthetic liquid that may be made into a vapor by heating or rigorous shaking. It is used to make polyester compounds, as a base for deicing solutions, for theatrical smoke, etc. Perhaps the two most common uses which create a possibility of long-term exposure is in e-cigarettes and as a food additive.
While there are some side effects which may occur due to prolonged exposure (e.g. skin irritation, redness, burning, itching, conjunctivitis), these cases are normally mild and rare, requiring high exposure over a long time.
The FDA recognizes propylene glycol as "generally safe for food" and there have not been found to exist any abnormal effects from using the compound as a solvent in food color and flavoring. It has been found to be non-toxic when ingested and is broken down inside the body in approximately 48 hours.
If you feel any abnormalities after exposure to propylene glycol, see a doctor immediately as waiting can make it hard to detect. While there are no direct health benefits, it does serve as a better alternative to ingesting the chemicals that come out as smoke in real cigarettes.
Possible short-term side effects
- skin irritation
frequent bowel movements
- better alternative than cigarette smoke
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