Propylene Glycol

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Recently, the Drugs Controller General of India directed drug manufacturers to stop using propylene glycol sourced from the Delhi-based firm that supplied the ingredient to Marion Biotech, whose cough syrups were linked to the deaths of 19 children in Uzbekistan.

About Propylene Glycol:

  • Propylene glycol is a synthetic food additive that belongs to the same chemical group as alcohol.
  • Characteristics of Propylene Glycol
    • Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water.  
    • It is a clear, colourless, slightly syrupy liquid at room temperature.
    • It may exist in air in the vapour form, although propylene glycol must be heated or briskly shaken to produce a vapour.
    • It is practically odorless and tasteless.


What are the uses of Propylene Glycol?

  • Propylene glycol is used to make polyester compounds and as a base for deicing solutions.
  • Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food.
  • It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products.
  • It is a solvent for food colors and flavours and in the paint and plastics industries.
  • Propylene glycol is also used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and theatrical productions.


Q1) What is a Glycol?

Glycol is an organic compound belonging to the alcohol family. It is more commonly referred to as antifreeze, and it is known to have a sweet taste.

Source: Govt prohibits use of propylene glycol from supplier linked to Uzbekistan deaths