Glowing, radiant health is the new black. Our Green Table is serving it up, for the whole body! Healthy recipes and tips, the latest on eco-friendly food and "skin food"products and a head's up on ingredient safety are all woven into family-centered stories and discoveries. Bring informed, aware and empowered looks good on everyone!

Abrazos! xox Penny

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

PG...I'd rather not.

I am not an alarmist. I would rather create an environment of "smarts" than fear.

It always concerns me and arouses my "need to find out more" when I find an ingredient like Propylene Glycol everywhere. In the United States, the FDA classifies it as "generally recognized as safe" whereas in Canada, its CEPA classifies it as "expected to be toxic or harmful". Remember that Europe has much higher ingredient safety standards and bans close to 1500 chemicals from use in personal care products. The United States bans just 9.

Cottage cheese, in case you are wondering!

Propylene Glycol is a big industry (DOW Chemical) player and is used in scads of products relevant to Our Green Table...from your cottage cheese to your deodorant. It is a carrier of fragrance oils (think massage oils here), used as a moisturizer in cosmetics, toothpaste and hair care and is the main ingredient in deodorant sticks. According to the safety review, it is in over 5,600 personal care products and while currently rated a "4" on the hazard scale, it has lots of rising safety concerns. 

"About PROPYLENE GLYCOL: Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin conditioning agent. It has been associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria in humans; these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%".

There are tons of industrial uses as well, including use as a de-icing agent. It is the ingredient that keeps you from having to shake or stir your products before you use them. It also keeps products from freezing during shipping or storage.

And so, why am I saying "NO" to Propylene Glycol? It is a petroleum derivative. Period. End of story. I do not want petroleum derivatives in my body. Propylene Glycol and petroleum found in petroleum, petroleum jelly and mineral oil are among the most commonly used ingredients in skin care treatment products. They are cheap...or are they? Think what our need and use for petroleum in everything means to the peace, safety and well-being of this planet. (See a post under Environmental Impact for more on this). Often these ingredients are labeled as being “natural.” And, some women believe that advertising in the U.S. at least. 

Even though Dow Chemical Company reports that Propylene Glycol will not cause cancer or gene-damage, a recent study found that the breast tissue of women with breast cancer contained significantly higher levels of petroleum than women without breast cancer. A recent hospital study showed that infants are 11 times more likely to get systemic candidiasis from the use of petroleum-based skin care products. The candidiasis stopped when the hospital discontinued use of the products

Other reports show that long-term use can result in dry, wrinkled skin with reduced lipids (naturally occurring skin fats) and dulled tone and texture. The problem is that Propylene Glycol mines moisture up from the lower layers of the skin. This keeps the upper layers moist while the moisture contained in the subcutaneous and dermis layers of skin becomes depleted. The long-term result? New skin is dryer, and you end up needing more moisturizer.

This makes me think of lip balms and how "addicting" the wrong ones can be. Always applying yours? Now you know why! 

Do your products have Propylene Glycol? Mine don't and I am soooooooooooo glad! Better safe than sorry...or wrinkled or both! Go to Tab at top of blog, "Our Little Green Store" and check out this link see what I use...all without Propylene Glycol and other potentially harmful chemicals! Let me know what you'd like to try and I will get you some specials available to Our Green Table readers. Contact me at

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