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Polyethylene glycol 8000 sources, health risks

Thursday, November 02, 2017 by

Polyethylene glycol 8000 is a type of polyethylene glycol, a chemical derived from ethylene glycol, which is the main ingredient in antifreeze. Obtaining polyethylene glycol 8000 involves polymerizing ethylene glycol to yield polyethylene glycols of varying ethylene glycol units. Polyethylene glycol 8000 is named as such because its approximate molecular weight is about 8000 g/mol.

As a whole, these odorless, colorless substances have a multitude of applications in a wide variety of fields. In the pharmaceutical industry, polyethylene glycols are commonly utilized as solvents, plasticizers, ointments, surfactants, and suppository bases. Polyethylene glycols are used in numerous personal care products as well, particularly in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and breath fresheners.

Harmful effects that can be caused by polyethylene glycol 8000

Polyethylene glycols in general have been found to have an assortment of negative health effects, polyethylene glycol 8000 included. For one, polyethylene glycols have the potential to be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, with the former being a known carcinogen and the latter being a possible human carcinogen.

Damaged skin can be harmed by products containing polyethylene glycols. Individuals with broken skin or eczema are at risk of experiencing skin irritation or sensitization. Moreover, the presence of other skin substances and/or medications can enhance the irritating and sensitizing effects of polyethylene glycols.

In addition, polyethylene glycols can cause further harm on the skin by stripping it of its natural moisture. This makes the skin more vulnerable to any toxic ingredients that could be present in other skin care products.

Moreover, polyethylene glycols can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation among individuals who are involved in handling this compound during the manufacturing process.

Body systems harmed by polyethylene glycol 8000

Polyethylene glycol 8000 can be very harmful to the skin due to its ability to throw the skin’s natural moisture off-balance, and the irritating and sensitizing effect it has on skin that has been damaged or has conditions like eczema.

Where to learn more


Polyethylene glycol 8000 is a substance that can cause harm to the skin, particularly the skin of unhealthy individuals or those with skin conditions.

In addition, polyethylene glycol may be contaminated with two substances — one known to be carcinogen and one suspected to be a carcinogen.

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