PG causes an allergic reaction to BS

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It’s used in asthma inhalers, food additives, cosmetics and cough syrup.  It’s also used in fog machines, water-based paints and electronic cigarettes.

Propylene glycol is an organic chemical found in thousands of products.  From shaving cream to your favorite foods, PG is there.  Eye drops, cough medicine and sanitary swabs all contain PG in some way, shape or form.

In e cigarettes, PG is often mixed with another organic compound, Vegetable Glycerin.  A mix of these compounds creates the vapor produced when users take a puff.  Chemically, these two compounds have very few differences.  Both are viscous liquids that are soluble in water. They are colorless, odorless, and taste sweet. PG is miscible, meaning it mixes in all proportions, forming a homogenous solution. Manufacturers of electronic cigarettes have started to market VG as a better alternative to PG, based on allergy claims.

There is evidence that disputes an allergy to PG even exist.  In an article published in a 2001 edition of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers found that “Propylene glycol may cause contact allergy, but there is sparse information on health effects from occupational exposure to PG.”

According to Wikipedia’s entry on PG, the chemical Propylene Glycol has been used safely for over 50 years

In a 1988 joint report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), PG was designated as a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) additive.

As far back as 1942, TIME Magazine ran an article touting the benefits of PG for air sterilization, especially in respirators at hospitals.  That’s right, Propylene Glycol, the very compound that some e cig companies try to vilify, is a key component in life-saving machines.

We were raised with the knowledge that vegetables are healthy for people. Based on that, vegetable glycerin may sound healthier, but there is no record of any more or less cases when comparing VG to PG in peer-reviewed studies.

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20 Comments

  1. MorrinB says

    I’ve never had a problem with PG, but if the VG portion of my juice is to high, I end up coughing like I did when I was a smoker. I think some people probably are more sensitive than others, but that doesn’t make it an allergy. I have heard of people having skin reactions to PG though, so I wouldn’t rule out possible allergies entirely

  2. MrsCasey says

    I thought I had a slight PG allergy after 4 months of vaping, I started to get itchy. But once I was a couple months into VG only I noticed it created more phlegm and I experienced some shortness of breath. I switched back to PG/VG with a new vendor and have had no problems at all for over a year. I have some vaping friends that do claim to have skin reactions so, like Morri said, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that some people do suffer allergic reactions from PG.

  3. tiffjamesnjj says

    IMO there are people that are allergic to EVERYTHING! Hence the reaason why some vendors are getting rid of food coloring in their liquids.

  4. Karla Lyle (Msv8PR) says

    I can tell you that I definitely have some kind of sensitivity to PG. I wouldn’t say an allergy but when I vape high PG juices it actually hurts my lungs. It is painful to inhale and I wake up with sore lungs if I vape it all day. So dispite the dispute that there is no such thing as an allergy I can attest to the fact that people do have reactions to it. Call it whatever you like.

  5. saboinia says

    i have alwayse smoked pg80/vg20 blend……good info i must say ty

  6. robovape says

    i get some itch and irritation in my lungs vaping and have suspected after all of the talk that it might be a sensitivity to the pg, and i have some 100%vg juice on the way because a few days ago i thought i had to try it just to see… the thing is, vaporizing ANYTHING and breatihing it in the concentration we do when we vape is bound to irritate the lungs of plenty of people…it’s still not completely natural, no matter how much safer it is than smoking, our lungs weren’t meant for it at all… so i don’t know if it will help with the 100% vg, maybe it was the 20 years i’ve been smoking that’s the problem…

  7. John says

    Some people due have a valid allergic reaction to it. Most people don’t… Those who do usually will know and stay away it. I know of one person who is allergic to VG!
    I love the study about PG being a sterilizer… Keeps us healthier!

  8. Donald Hammond says

    I have heard of people having an allergy to PG but never had it myself. my wife does have a reaction to PG too but it just makes her lungs sore.

  9. unclerj says

    Most of us seem to be allergic to one thing or another.

    I once had a really bad reaction to a certain taco place (out of business now) and that was it for me.

    No bad reaction to E-Juice thank the good Lord!

  10. Johnathan Brown (Sepsis) says

    I don’t know if there is an allergy to it or not, but some people definitely claim to be sensitive to it or have reactions to it. Me personally, I have no problem with PG or VG, but i prefer to have a blend of both. Can get both worlds that way. Good information though, thank you very much

  11. Patthib says

    I get “itchy” when I vape straight pg, and also a cough when I vape straight vg. If I vape a mix of no more than 50% pg, I seem to do fine. No cough and no itching. I think we all have sensitivities to things, but we can’t call said thing “bad for everyone”!

  12. ManuDawg says

    I’ve never had any issues with PG but I do believe that some people are sensitive to it. I myself cannot vape 100% VG, I get too stuffed up.

  13. robovape says

    so i’ve tried some 100% vg now and in a way it’s harder to breathe than the 70/30 or 50/50 i’ve used, it gives the vape in my lungs a thick, heavy feeling compared to others…

  14. slap_maxwell says

    Whether or not “allergy” is a correct term, there are people who present with reactions to exposure to PG, regardless of its general safety. PG is metabolized into a number of different compounds, one being propionaldehyde, a known potentially hazardous substance (http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9924730). As well, a Swedish study published in 2010 strongly suggests a connection between airborne concentrations of propylene glycol in houses and development of asthma and allergic reactions, such as rhinitis, in children (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0013423).

  15. Sylvie says

    in 2001 there wasn’t a million plus people directly inhaling PG on a regular basis like we vapers do… Their no evidence isn’t very scientiffic, what is evidence are the tiny little itchy bumps that I get all over me when vaping too much PG, as well as the swelling feeling in my throat when I am too stupid to keep vaping a delicious over PGed juice.. I know I have allergic reactions to vaping PG in high doses and it isn’t all in my head because there is supposably no evidence that PG causes them..
    Which it was for I really love higher PG juices, so much more flavorful!!!

  16. butterrum says

    Thanks for the info. I’ve never had a reaction to either, but I usually just use 70/30 or 50/50. Never used 100 on either pg or vg

  17. Anthony says

    i ussualy use 80/20 pg vg

  18. conqwest says

    Ive seen videos of people on youtube claiming allergies to pg but its so rare that like it says in the article, GRAS.

  19. sugasmacks says

    I hope i’m not allergic to pg or vg 😛

  20. imtheboss says

    I have seen to allergies for myself, but then again there are billions of people in this world.

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