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  • Propylene glycol, known also by the systematic name propane-1,2-diol, is an organic compound.
  • Propylene Glycol is usually a faintly sweet, odorless, and colorless clear viscous liquid that is hygroscopic and miscible with water, acetone, and chloroform.
  • Propylene glycol contains an asymmetrical carbon atom, so it exists in two stereoisomers.
  • Propylene Glycol is an petroleum derivative that act as solvents, surfactants, and wetting agents. They can easily penetrate in to the skin, and can weaken protein and cellular structure.


  • Industrially propylene glycol is produced by propylene oxide hydration.
  • Pure optical isomers can be obtained by hydration of optically pure propylene oxide.
  • Propylene glycol can also be converted from glycerol, a biodiesel byproduct.
  • Propylene glycol is produced from propylene oxide by liquid phase hydrolysis with excess water in the presence of a small concentration of sulfuric acid as the catalyst.


  • Propylene glycol is used as a moisturizer in medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, mouth wash, and tobacco products .
  • Propylene glycol is used as a medical and sexual lubricant.
  • Propylene Glycol is used as an emulsification agent in Angostura and orange bitters and as a solvent for food colors and flavorings.
  • It is used as a carrier in fragrance oils and as a less-toxic antifreeze .


  • Patients with vulvodynia and interstitial cystitis may be especially sensitive to propylene glycol.
  • Post menopausal women who require the use of an estrogen cream may notice that brand name creams made with propylene glycol often create extreme, uncomfortable burning along the vulva and perianal area.
  • Propylene glycol does not cause sensitization and it shows no evidence of being a carcinogen or of being genotoxic.
  • Prolonged contact with propylene glycol is essentially non-irritating to the skin.

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