Are There More Products With PG or Is it Just My Imagination?

Turns out it’s not just me:

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An abstract for an article entitled Propylene Glycol by Sharon Jacob, MD, Andrew Scheman, MD, and Maria A McGowan, MD, in Dermatitis: the Journal of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, reports that PG use in personal care products is on the rise: 

Over time, there has been a reported increase in the use of PG in personal care products in the United States. In a 1994 safety assessment, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review noted use of PG in 5676 products listed in the Voluntary Cosmetic Registry; in the Cosmetic Ingredient Review 2012 update, this Voluntary Cosmetic Registry reported 9094 products containing PG.(1) These data are similar to the data from December 15, 2016, in the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) Contact Allergy Management Program, which showed PG present in 1301 (37.8%) of 4674 products (A. Scheman, personal communication on C.A.M.P data, December 2016).

The good news is that as the use of propylene glycol increases, allergists are becoming more aware of its effects on those of us who react to it. The bad news is that there are even more opportunities for us to come in contact with PG. So protect yourself, and ALWAYS read every label, especially the inactive ingredients, and get to know the aliases PG uses!

(1). Fiume MM, Bergfeld WF, Belsito DV, et al. Safety assessment of propylene glycol, tripropylene glycol, and PPGs as used in cosmetics. Int J Toxicol 2012;31(Suppl 5):245S–260S.

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Why Your Allergy to PG Might Not Show Up on a Patch Test

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An abstract for an article entitled Propylene Glycol by Sharon Jacob, MD, Andrew Scheman, MD, and Maria A McGowan, MD, in Dermatitis: the Journal of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, reports that PG allergies have been considered controversial because patch testing has historically shown inconsistent results.(1) Researchers found that patch test concentrations have varied over time. Until 1996, PG concentration in NACDG patch kits was 10%, when it was raised to 30%.(2) In January 2013 the NACGD raised the concentration to 100% PG.(3) The Information Network of Departments of Dermatology used a 20% solution from 1992-2002.(4)

The last sentence from the “Controversy” section addresses the significance of even a weak reaction to PG:

“Regardless of whether reactions are irritant or allergic, almost all reactions are clinically relevant to affected patients. That is, because concentrations of PG in topical products are often less than 30%, a patch test reaction to 30% PG is likely to be clinically relevant whether the patch test reaction is caused by allergy or irritancy.”

The full article is free and has many more interesting bits of info.

It can be downloaded  here.

 

(1). Lowther A, McCormick T, Nedorost S. Systemic contact dermatitis from propylene glycol. Dermatitis 2008;19(2):105–108.

(2). Fiume MM, Bergfeld WF, Belsito DV, et al. Safety assessment of propylene glycol, tripropylene glycol, and PPGs as used in cosmetics. Int J Toxicol 2012;31(Suppl 5):245S–260S.

(3). DeKoven JG, Warshaw EM, Belsito DV, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch test results 2013–2014. Dermatitis 2017;28(1):33–46.

(4). Lessmann H, Schnuch A, Geier J, et al. Skin-sensitizing and irritant properties of propylene glycol. Contact Dermatitis 2005;53(5):247–259.

 

 


**Studies: Show This to Your Doctor

Below are some links that can help if your medical team doesn’t understand that an allergy to glycols exists. Some are peer-reviewed studies, some are scholarly articles, and some are abstracts.
An abstract is a summary of a scholarly paper or study. The paper itself usually has a cost associated with reading the entire text, but your doctor may be able to access these if they are a member of a medical society. Some doctors will only need to see the abstract to understand that it is possible for someone to be allergic to a glycol. The authors of each paper are listed on the abstract, and it may also be possible to contact them directly for a copy.

Have you found studies about glycols? Let us know in the comments.

Be well,

Amber

PEG Allergy/PEG Sensitivity

Abstracts from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: 
Immediate Hypersensitivity to Polyethylene Glycols and Polysorbates: More Common Than We Have Recognized

Polyethylene Glycol Is a Cause of IgE-Mediated Anaphylaxis

Polyethylene Glycol: Not Just a Harmless Excipient

Macrogol hypersensitivity reactions during cleansing preparation for colon endoscopy

In American Academy of  Allergy Asthma & Immunology, advice on how to handle a patient with PEG allergy: Ask the Expert: Polyethylene Glycol Allergy

Full text of a 2016 article in Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, referred to in the above “Ask the Expert” column:
Polyethylene glycol as a cause of anaphylaxis

In American Academy of  Allergy Asthma & Immunology, information on an attempt to desensitize a patient to macrogols, a form of polyethylene glycol:  Ask the Expert: Polyethylene glycol allergy and dental restoration

In Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 2016: Immediate‐type hypersensitivity to polyethylene glycols: a review

In US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 2017: Three cases of anaphylaxis following injection of a depot corticosteroid with evidence of IgE sensitization to macrogols rather than the active steroid


PG Allergy/PG Sensitivity

In Dermatitis, a publication of the American Contact Dermatitis Society: Propylene Glycol named 2018 Allergen of the Year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society

In Dermatitis, Contact Allergy to Propylene Glycol and Cross-Reactions

Links to more scholarly and peer-reviewed articles and abstracts can be found in the sidebar marked by two asterisks, or by searching for two asterisks **


Propylene Glycol allergy blog

I stumbled upon this blog and thought some of you might be interested.

It’s called PropyleneGlycolAllergy.com and although the last post was awhile ago, there might be some useful info there.

I hope you all are coping well and able to enjoy the spring. We are up to our ears in construction and I have also been caring for Sadie, my new puppy, who is a handful! I haven’t had much time to be at the computer other than for work, but have been plugging away at a couple posts that I hope to get up as soon as the construction noise dies down.

Sending you love,

Amber

 


A New Resource for Education

I stumbled upon this course and thought it might be useful for others wanting to know more about glycols. It’s by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, under their Environmental Health and Medicine Education department. It has info on how PG behaves in the body, what toxicity looks like (for people who are not allergic to it) and explains how it breaks down.

The self-study online course is for people dealing with environmental hazards and toxic substances. Although propylene glycol used in small amounts is considered safe (except to some of us who are sensitive) in large amounts, it is harmful to everyone.

The course is called Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol Toxicity, and it’s available in a pdf or online. There are even quizzes! When you visit the page, there’s a green box on the left side with links to various parts of the course. You can jump right to the Propylene glycol section if you like and skip the rest, or dive in for the full Monty.

Leave a message in the comments below if you tried it and learned something new, or if you just have something to say about this as a resource.

Amber

 


**Show This to Your Doctor, Part 2

Here are links to recent studies about glycol allergy and sensitivity. Please comment  if you find links to other peer-reviewed studies about glycol allergies.

PEG Allergy/PEG Sensitivity

Polyethylene glycol as a cause of anaphylaxis
From: Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2016, 12:67

Three cases of anaphylaxis following injection of a depot corticosteroid with evidence of IgE sensitization to macrogols rather than the active steroid
From Clinical and Translational Allergy, 2017; 7: 2

Poly(ethylene glycol) in Drug Delivery: Pros and Cons as Well as Potential Alternatives
From Angewandte Chemie, International Edition, Vol 49, Issue 36

Polyethylene Glycol: Not just a harmless excipient
From Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, October 03, 2018 (Requires fee or membership to access)

Allergy to Macrogols (Polyethylene Glycol)
From Ask the Expert: American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, 3/6/2013

Anaphylaxis following a transvaginal ultrasound
From Allergy Asthma and Clinical Immunology 12(1) · December 2016

Two cases of anaphylaxis to macrogol 6000 after ingestion of drug tablets 
From Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Volume 61, Issue 8, August 2006

PG Allergy/PG Sensitivity

Propylene Glycol: An Often Unrecognized Cause of Allergic Contact Dermatitis in Patients Using Topical Corticosteroids
from Skin Therapy Letter, Volume 16 Number 5, May 1, 2011

 

Links to more scholarly and peer-reviewed articles and abstracts can be found in the sidebar marked by two asterisks, or by searching for two asterisks **


We Have a Discussion Group!

After trying to set up a discussion group for us on my website and finding myself beset with spam before I could even get it going, I heard back from Health Unlocked, a host for health-related communities I’d contacted early on. I had applied to run a community for us there, but discovered we didn’t quite fit their eligibility requirements since we are not part of a non-profit organization.

After talking with me about our purpose, they came back with a invitation to put our discussion group on their platform.

I’ve been setting up the community and would love to have you come on over and start the discussion! You’ll need to join HealthUnlocked – it’s free – and then follow the “Allergic to Glycols” community. The link to it is below.

After you follow Allergic to Glycols, read the “Start Here” post, then introduce yourself under “Share Your Story.”

I’m working on linking resources from the site to the discussion group and back, and that will take me a few days, but check out the community and let me know what you think!

Cheers,
Amber

Find the discussion group here: https://healthunlocked.com/allergic-to-glycols
There is also a link on the home page in the right sidebar.