In the world of E cigarettes there has been a lot of talk about some e cigarette manufacturers using propylene glycol in their cartridges. Sadly a lot of negative points have been reported and all of the positive study results have been avoided. It’s more than likely that people with interests in the tobacco industry have had something to with this. I know from personal experience how great E cigarettes are, and how much I enjoy them so much more than tobacco products, so I went out to find what information I could about propylene glycol and I have posted here. Hopefully it will be able to help you make your decision about electronic cigarettes and their ingredients more informed.
Propylene glycol is changed inside the human body into pyruvic acid, this is a totally normal part of the glucose metabolism process and is also converted into energy. Its toxicity when consumed orally is very low and you would need to consume a large amount for it to be potentially damaging to our health. To have any noticeable effect a human would have to consume 4g/L of PG, which would have to be a very high intake over a short space of time. If you were consuming PG in food or supplements at 1g/Kg then it would be nearly impossible to reach toxic levels. Almost all cases of propylene glycol poisoning have been related to inappropriate intravenous use or by children accidentally ingesting large quantities.
Any chance of poisoning over a long term is also low. A recent study saw rats being fed propylene glycol at 5% over a period of 104 weeks, they showed no obvious ill effects. For these reasons, and other studies, propylene glycol has been listed by the U.S Food and Drug Administration as being “generally recognized as safe” for use as a direct food additive.
For the skin, exposure to propylene glycol is non-irritating. For the eyes, undiluted propylene glycol can on occasion cause a slight case of transient conjunctivitis, though the eye will recover when exposure is stopped, Exposure to propylene glycol as a mist can, on occasion, cause slight irritation to the eyes and upper respiratory tract. Although inhaling PG vapors would appear to present no hazard to human health, under normal consumption. However, there have been some reports of a few people suffering from mild irritations after inhaling PG mists.
Propylene glycol does not cause sensitization and is so showing no evidence of being a carcinogen, or a genotoxic.
For some sort of reference you can find propylene glycol in the following every products, as well as many more -
- Food additive – E number E1520
A moisturizer in medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, mouth wash, and other products
Antibacterial lotions, and saline solutions
In smoke machines, to make smoke, found at theaters and concerts
A non-toxic antifreeze for winterizing drinking water systems
It is a primary ingredient in deodorant sticks