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Natural Doublespeak

There are many products claiming to be natural, but are they healthy?  The key word is healthy.  Something may be natural, but that does not necessarily mean it's good for you.  Arsenic is natural, but you wouldn't want to eat it or put it on your skin.  Really take the time to read product labels.  You might be surprised what you will find on there; and if you can't pronounce it, most likely you wouldn't want to use it.

Propylene Glycol is the first ingredient in well-known brands of "natural"  deodorant.  The following paragraph is what I found at the ATSDR  (Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry) website. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=240.   You can decide for yourself if this is something you would want to put on the delicate tissue of skin under your arms every day (emphasis mine). 

"Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. Propylene glycol is also 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. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in 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 flavors, and in the paint and plastics industries. Propylene glycol is also used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and in theatrical productions. Other names for propylene glycol are 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 1,2-propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol. Propylene glycol is clear, colorless, slightly syrupy liquid at room temperature. It may exist in air in the vapor form, although propylene glycol must be heated or briskly shaken to produce a vapor. Propylene glycol is practically odorless and tasteless."

In the description from ATSDR, it actually says "generally recognized as safe" (not very comforting).  But these things change all the time by regulatory agencies.  Titanium dioxide used to be considered safe and now there is new evidence that it is possibly carcinogenic to humans.  Propylene glycol is used in food products as well as chemical products, skin care products, industrial products, and anything where flavoring, texturizing, and/or keeping things moist is needed.  Again, whatever you put on your skin should be safe enough to eat, and in this case, propylene glycol doesn't look safe enough to eat.

According to Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C. in her book, "Food Additives:  A Shoppers Guide to What's Safe & What's Not!", she states that this 'anti-freeze' is a skin irritant that has caused nervous system and kidney damage in animals; and ingestion can cause blindness, kidney failure, convulsions, and death.  This book is a wealth of information for every imaginable  food additive on the market with numerous references in the back. 

Many deodorants on the market claiming to be "natural" have propylene glycol in the ingredient list.  So while it's labeled "natural"… is it healthy?

Prim and Primal is an effective deodorant that uses only healthy natural ingredients.


Barbara McDonald
Barbara McDonald

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