I have been reading more and more of our food labels. Yesterday in the grocery store my six-year-old asked me about a chocolate milk flavoring straw thing. I’m not sure exactly what it was other than I asked him to turn it over and tell me what was in it. By about the third ingredient we were into stuff even I couldn’t pronounce and then there was one I could: Propylene Glycol! Wait! Don’t they use that to de-ice airplanes? Why yes, they do. It is basically an antifreeze.
Why are they putting it in food marketed to kids? To say the least I refused to buy it for the kids. Gross. I am not feeding them antifreeze.
I got curious today and looked up the MSDS (material safety data sheet) that all chemicals have to have. I found a pretty straight forward one to read. They aren’t all easy to read, by the way. The frightening thought is what is listed in the Toxic Effects to Humans section.
“Special Remarks on other Toxic Effects on Humans: Acute Potential Health Effects:
Skin: May cause mild skin irritation. It may be absorbed through the skin and cause systemic effects similar to those of ingestion.
Eyes: May cause mild eye irritation with some immediate, transitory stinging, lacrimation,blepharospasm, and mild transient conjunctival hyperemia. There is no residual discomfort or injury once it is washed away.
Inhalation: May cause respiratory tract irritation.
Ingestion: It may cause gastrointestinal tract irritation. It may affect behavior/central nervous system(CNS depression, general anesthetic, convulsions, seizures, somnolence, stupor, muscle contraction or spasticity, coma), brain (changes in surface EEG), metabolism, blood (intravascular hemolysis, white blood cells-decreased neutrophil function), respiration (respiratory stimulation, chronic pulmonary edema, cyanosis), cardiovascular system(hypotension, bradycardia, arrhythmias, cardiac arrest), endocrine system (hypoglycemia), urinary system (kidneys), and liver.
Chronic Potential Health Effects:
Skin: Prolonged or repeated skin contact may cause allergic contact dermatitis.
Ingestion: Prolonged or repeated ingestion may cause hyperglycemia and may affect behavior/CNS (symptoms similar to that of acute ingestion).
Inhalation: Prolonged or repeated inhalation may affect behavior/CNS (with symptoms similar to ingestion),and spleen.”
If you would like to read the entire MSDS here is that link: http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927239
I am sure there is some sort of reason the companies use this in our food but I can’t figure out a good one. I think I’ll skip the products with this in it. You’d be amazed by how many have it in there. Just pick up and read labels on your food, your shampoos, etc. and you’ll see it listed on a frighteningly large number of products. Especially the fake flavoring foods marketed at kids. And we all wonder where our health issues are coming from. Hmmmm… I think I have an idea.