Propylene glycol is a common antifreeze agent, used also as a solvent or excipient in a large amount of both household and industrial products, including drugs and injectable solutions, as well as cosmetics and detergents.
Ecologically speaking, it is readily biodegradable both in presence and in lack of oxygen, therefore it does not cause any troubles.
Talking about toxicity, it is generally well tolerated, but some doubts remain.
There are quite old scientific data, reporting toxicity towards mammals phoetuses and towards haematopoietic system; consequently investigations were carried out, then examined by a pool of scientists that wrote their assessment in a US NTP document, but yet they do not seem to be complete: NTP toxicologists think that there is a lack of long-term data for treatment of children and pregnant women. On the whole, the evaluation seems to be good, but some doubts were expressed about data presentation and lack of informations about statistical analysis; this aspect may modify the assessment of toxicity itself. The Propylene Oxide/Propylene Glycols Panel of the American Chemistry Council takes position against these issues, saying that data are detailed enough. Since there is an unresolved dispute, Bensos prefers to wait for a more endorsed assessment, before considering safe this chemical.
In addition, propylene glycol, as other glycols, seems to be able to induce or enhance multiple allergies symptoms, as asthma, rhinitis, eczema, and immune IgE sensitization in people with a predisposition.
As usual, Bensos ensures its commitment in studying thoroughly scientific literature as far as possible and in selecting the safest ingredients, with the purpose to safeguard both consumers and professional users using its products, either detergents, body cleansers or creams.
References: RTECS-NIOSH; OECD-SIDS; NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Propylene Glycol, march 2004; H. Choi et al., Common Household Chemicals and the Allergy Risks in Pre-School Age Children, PlosOne 2010.