ASK THE ALLERGISTA: If I'm allergic to PG, should I avoid other glycols?

ask_the_allergista

Q:

Hello, I found out about my allergy to propylene glycol about 2 years ago (oye). One question that hasn't really been answered and no one seems to know...what about the other glycols such as, butylene and capylyl? I know these are longer carbon chains but I don't know if that would affect my allergy in some way. Any thoughts?

Thanks!

A:

Hi! And thanks for writing in!

Oye indeed! More and more people keep writing me with questions about propylene glycol and are following my propylene glycol-free board... I sure do talk to a lot of people who deal with this allergy! Propylene glycol is eeeverywhere which is what makes living with the allergy so tough. Propylene glycol aka PG is also hidden in modified starches, flavorings and colorings. It's a tough one!

For people who are allergic to PG, there is a rule: if the ingredients list any other word or letter before or after “Propylene Glycol”, you’re allergic to it. Take the example of Dipropylene glycol. Since nothing has literally come between the words “propylene” and “glycol”, propylene glycol is indeed in the ingredient. If there’s any word or letter IN BETWEEN “Propylene” and “Glycol”, then it’s a different sort of chemical and don’t worry about it. 

With that said, I've had a lot of people who are sensitive to a variety of glycols and warn others to stay away from all if they're allergic to just one. While I can understand where they're coming from, my doctor made sure to be very specific with me when he told me about the PG allergy rule. Since I have a long list of allergies, I honestly don't feel like adding more to my list of things to avoid. Not at this point anyways. I'm working on that...

I hope this helps! In the meantime, make sure to read all of my propylene glycol posts and follow my PG board on pinterest! Good luck!

Sincerely,

The Allergista