I’m The Allergista.
I’m excited to be guest-writing on this blog – I love reading Celiac and Allergy Adventures, so it’s an honor The lady who writes it is also pretty awesome!
I have a wide array of allergies which I developed a few years ago and one of them happens to be to Propylene Glycol a.k.a. PG. Never heard of it? You’ll find it in soap, make-up, e-cigarettes, medication, theater smoke, anti-freeze, low-grade beef, and baking mixes. The list goes on and on.
So what is it exactly?
It’s a clear odorless liquid solvent that acts as a preservative and lowers the freezing temperature of the product it’s in. All of those qualities make it a perfect candidate for mass production and storage of things like food, chemicals and body products.
Allergic reactions are said to be rare, but there are a lot of people who write to me on my blog and they have a propylene glycol allergy as well, sooo it’s definitely out there. Let’s not also forget the different levels of allergic reactions. There can be anything from large splotches to tiny raised bumps and even bubbles. When it’s in food, it makes me feel sick. When it’s on my skin, it ends up in bumps and bubbles. Many people don’t even know that the problem they’re having is due to allergies because they can’t get to the doctor. Ever feel weird after eating fast food?
Another fun fact about PG: many people who are allergic to PG are also allergic to PEG, which is polyethylene glycol. They are indeed two different things. Many of my readers who have issues with PG also have issues with PEG, though. I didn’t happen to be allergic to PEG at my last round of tests and I don’t seem to react to it now. For now, anyways!
So, is propylene glycol safe? Some say yes and some say no. If you do a little research, you’ll find out that propylene glycol seems to be having a different array of negative effects from hyperventilation and depression to children developing allergies. I really think that not enough long-term research has been done on this chemical. Considering how many products it’s in, I don’t think it’s a bad idea.
In order to avoid propylene glycol, I have to do things like cover my desk at work with glass so I don’t react to the polyester in the laminate. PG is used in the processing of polyester and could be the root of the reason I react to it.
This is my desk:
As I mentioned before, PG is in maaaany more things.
Here are some other items you should watch out for and ALWAYS read the labels on if you have a propylene glycol allergy or just don’t want to be exposed to the chemical anymore:
- soap – especially body wash
- shampoo & conditioner
- hair products
- body lotions
- shaving products
- hand sanitizer
- eye drops
- baby wipes
- low grade beef (it won’t be on the label, but it’s sprayed on the cows and fed to them to promote lactation)
- baking mixes
- produce – it gets sprayed on it, so buy organic or wash it well
- salad dressings
- snack foods
- fast food
- flavoring for water
- cleaning products
- febreeze-like products
- theater smoke
- flavored coffee
- natural & artificial flavors
- gel cap vitamins
- modified food and corn starch
- and I could go on for even longer, but I think you get the idea.
Propylene glycol also goes by many other aliases, but before I give you that link, here’s a rule you can remember as well: If it has any other word or letter before or after “Propylene Glycol”, you’re allergic to it. If there’s any word or letter IN BETWEEN “Propylene” and “Glycol”, then it’s a different sort of chemical and not to worry about it. For example PPG = bad. PEG = ok.
Here’s the link to the aliases I’ve found so far.
And to read more propylene glycol posts on my blog, click here!
In closing, I want to say a very special thank you to the lady of Celiac and Allergy Adventures. It’s been my pleasure!