My Rotisserie Chicken Has a Chemical Found In Brake Fluid

Daniel took a hard look at the label on a rotisserie chicken he picked up at the supermarket and was unnerved to find propylene glycol on the pictured label.

He writes:

Here’s a little more about propylene glycol. I’m sure you’ll find that it’s uses, while varied, are far from what you would call “delicious.”

A definition of propylene glycol is: cosmetic form of mineral oil found in automatic brake and hydraulic fluid and industrial antifreeze. In the skin and hair, propylene glycol works as a humescent, which causes retention of moisture content of skin or cosmetic products by preventing the escape of moisture or water. The Material Safety Data Sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as this strong skin irritant can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.

This is according to a website: www.natural-health-information-centre.com

Are there any chemicals you look out for on food labels that will stop you from eating something?

Comments

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  1. jamster says:

    MSG is still in a LOT of processed foods. I try and avoid foods which contain it.

    • reddfredd says:

      If MSG is so bad, then why does China have a problem with overpopulation?

      • foofad says:

        Because their rate of reproduction overmatches the rate at which they die from age or poor health, just like anywhere else. That doesn’t mean MSG or anything else is healthy.

      • pythonspam says:

        Because real chinese food doesn’t rely heavily on MSG unlike the “chinese food” they sell in American now…

        • OutPastPluto says:

          MSG and similar industrial food components like HFCS are just crutches used to make up for poor food quality in component parts. Instead of using good stuff or putting the ingredients that really belong in the recipe, they just throw in a bunch of “cheats”.

          These ingredients just means that the stuff should be used to slop hogs and not fed to people.

      • uber_mensch says:

        There is NO proof that MSG is bad for you. It’s a myth.
        Even broccoli has natural MSG in it.

    • Necoras says:

      MSG is delicious, and is in a lot of meat naturally. It’s part of what produces the meaty flavor. Granted, it is added to a lot of foods to enhance flavor, but it is not inherently bad for you.

      • foofad says:

        I’m sorry, but I’m gonna have to call you on this. Free glutamates are potentially very dangerous, and have been shown to cause brain damage in animals as well as other health complications in primates. As for it being common in meat, you’re thinking of protein glutamate which is metabolized differently from free glutamates like MSG and what’s found in hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed yeast extract, etc etc.

        • RogerX says:

          FUD. “…research found that, while large doses of MSG given without food may elicit more symptoms than a placebo in individuals who believe that they react adversely to MSG, the frequency of the responses was low and the responses reported were inconsistent, not reproducible, and not observed when MSG was given with food. No statistical association has been demonstrated under controlled conditions, even in studies with people convinced that they are sensitive to it.”

          • Hi_Hello says:

            what? the study gave them a teaspoon of msg? that’s nasty.

            I’m sure there are some rare cases of people who are allergic to msg. The rest of the people who complain that they get sick from msg, I would give them a dorito or some mcdonald fries and see if they get sick.

            • jamster says:

              Nice straw man argument. One dorito or one order of fries at McDonalds won’t have any effect on you, just like one cigarette won’t give you cancer. However, I’m guessing you are going to be way more likely to be a fatso eating tons of foods with MSG, just like smoking lots of cigarettes will increase your odds of getting cancer.

              • Hi_Hello says:

                you didn’t read?

                http://consumerist.com/2011/01/new-study-cigarettes-start-damaging-your-body-within-minutes-not-years.html

                like I said, there are rare people with an allergic reaction to the food. If they are allergic to it, it only require a small amount to be affected by it. Most of the people who go around saying Chinese food make them sick because of the MSG are eating a bunch of other stuff that contain MSG but are perfectly fine because they don’t realize it contain MSG.

                • arliemoore says:

                  i just have to say that i’m extremely allergic to msg. if it’s in a soup or a salad bar, which is where i find it mostly in larger amounts, i know right away from the reaction i have. my heart speeds up and i get dizzy. in fact, it was a combination of msg, and caffeine years ago, that brought me to a hospital emergency room with an abnormally speedy heart rate which almost killed me.

                  people with msg sensitivity take it really seriously. it’s nothing to fool around with.

      • Alvis says:

        DeLICIOUS. I keep a salt shaker of MSG crystals in my kitchen. Makes soups really pop.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      MSG is just as dangerous as Sodium. Processed food tend to have a whole lot of sodium. I avoid processed food. Once in awhile I sure love them processed meat.

      • formatc says:

        Studies have shown that eating something with MSG will increase your overall food consumption by 30%, including foods that don’t contain MSG.

        • Alvis says:

          Really? More than one of them have shown this same thing? That’s very interesting – can’t seem to find any on Google, though. Got any links?

          Closest I found was a Spanish study from five years ago about injecting rats with MSG – nothing about eating it leading it to over-consumption.

        • Big Mama Pain says:

          That’s just because MSG makes everything so delicious, you can’t stop eating. UMAME!

        • J.A.Reader says:

          Every once in a while I throw out a statement that starts with “Studies have shown…” and see what happens. I only consider it lying in extreme cases. I bet that if I look hard enough I can find a study that claims what I’m making up.
          Anyone knows the latest on cold fusion? :)

      • PhantomPumpkin says:

        MSG is sodium…MonoSODIUMGlutamate. It’s just a different form than table salt(SodiumChloride)

    • DanGarion says:

      Why? There is nothing wrong with MSG.

    • Chaosium says:

      “MSG is still in a LOT of processed foods. I try and avoid foods which contain it. “

      MSG is in EVERY FOOD. Soy/yeast if you’re a vegan, cheese if you’re veggie, meat if you’re a meat eater.

    • jonharrell says:

      Glutamic acid (if bonded with sodium: MSG) is naturally contained in many foods after heated for a period of time. One can increase the concentration of natural Glutamic acid if one percolates the food through Hydrochloric Acid or Sodium Chloride. AKA Hydrolyzed or Autolyzed.

  2. nybiker says:

    Let’s see.
    1. Arsenic.
    2. Cyanide.
    3. Mercury.

    Any of those 3 listed would stop me.

    • uber_mensch says:

      This is a non-story. Totally alarmist.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propylene_glycol

      • jefeloco says:

        pretty much, a google “define:” would give the answer that it is used in foods as well as a humescent.

      • UberGeek says:

        And I suppose you think the concern over Dihydrogen Monoxide is alarmist?

      • Rhizzo says:

        I’m going to have to agree with you there. Sometimes I think some of these contributers are looking for their 15 minutes of fame by having a article “featured” but it comes of as paranoid.

        Here’s a little refresher for anyone that’s paranoid about food additives. Our food is grown processed and packaged at different locations throughout our great country. In order for our food to arrive fresh at its destination (and ultimately our stomachs) sometimes preservatives need to be added to allow the chicken to retain its natural water.. probably because someone bitched to consumerist about buying a dry chicken.

        If you don’t like the way it’s prepared for distribution.. you’re more than capable of taking it back to the store for a refund, raising your own chicken for consumption, or reading the label before you buy it to begin with.

        Call me when someone finds a dead frog in their bag of frozen broccoli.

      • bethshanin says:

        BOOM- Headshot!

    • Max5695 says:

      Arsenic is fed to chickens to increase growth by many companies. Yes, it is a cancer causing agent and it is used to fatten up chickens during their short lifespan.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/05/dining/05well.html

  3. Necoras says:

    My water contains an ingredient found in antifreeze! My apples contain cyanide! My beer contains a chemical known to be harmful unborn babies! My cigarettes contain chemicals that are known to cause cancer! What’s your point?

    • eagleapex says:

      My [moderately bad thing] contains [slightly worse thing] found in [really really bad thing]!!!!

    • polizzi82 says:

      +1

    • DoodlestheGreat says:

      The first one is a common molecule that is non-toxic outside of hideously excessive quantities, the second one you are not going to find in the section of the fruit you actually consume, and as for the last two, you ARE a dope for consuming them. Your facetious reply merely points out your complete lack of understanding of basic chemistry, and your desire to be yet another internet troll.

      • tsukiotoshi says:

        But… good beer is so tasty. Plus some research indicates a little beer is good for you! I’m gonna go with that.

    • Clearly says:

      Oh my word. My boutique Italian sparkling water contains carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a CHEMICAL !!! Did you hear me ? My water contains CHEMICALS !!

      Wooooow, the water also has calcium carbonate. Calcium is a METAL ! Urgh, my water contains METAL !!! Yikes !!

      Of course the propylene glycol is not a great discovery. But an equally enlightening fact is that the label shows ‘water’ as the second ingredient after chicken. Its a shame that the ingredients are more than ‘chicken’. We now know why grocery store ‘rotisserie’ chickens can be cheaper than a simple fresh chicken. I wonder just how much water is pumped into those rotisserie chickens to add mass and bulk ?

      http://geology.com/articles/bottled-water.shtml
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium

      • nova3930 says:

        “Its a shame that the ingredients are more than ‘chicken’.”

        I’m sorry but ingredients that consist of just “chicken” wouldn’t taste very good. I rather like spices and other ingredients that are added to make it taste not so bland…

        • guspaz says:

          Not to mention that “just chicken” is made up of a fairly incredibly large number of impossible to pronounce chemicals.

          I always chuckle when people tell me that “chemicals” are bad and should not be consumed. Sometimes, I like to ask them what they think about dihydrogen monoxide. Of course, they think it must be some horrible bad thing: it SOUNDS like a CHEMICAL! Well, of course it’s a chemical. It’s water.

          • Saltpork says:

            Yes, and for those of us who aren’t blind idiots about food, we prefer our food to be not loaded down with sugars, salts and fats. We want food that tastes, looks, smells and has an ingredient list of food.

            Bread is my biggest complaint and an easy example.
            Real bread contains: Water, yeast, flour, salt. Sometimes ‘fancy’ things like sugars, seeds, cheese, or egg.
            Pre-sliced bread goes stale in a day or two and molds after a week, so they have to put in a lot of chemicals to allow it to taste as close as possible to real bread.
            Thing is, it doesn’t. It tastes like junk & few people know the difference anymore. Wonderbread isn’t wonderful, it’s crap.

            Preservative agents are useful things to get perishables from the market to the table & that’s understood. I will never complain about a city ham having salt & water added. It’s how they keep the meat viable.
            What I will complain about is a city ham that looks more like it was squeezed out of a tube of toothpaste versus one that was cut off a hog.

            In summation: Meat should contain bones, veins, connective tissue, skin(sometimes), and big hunks of flesh. A little salt for curing is fine, but keep it in a reasonable limit.

            Bread should grow mold within a week or more.
            Food should look and taste and smell like food with an ingredient list to match.

        • Mom says:

          Ya know, it may be “perfectly safe”, as so many people here so eloquently stated, but honestly, I just want chicken, herbs, spices, and salt in my rotisserie chicken. I would prefer not to have all that other crap that’s listed on the label. And if the grocery store rotisserie chicken tastes bad without all that crap in it, then it’s probably something I don’t want to eat.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            So, then, you have no problem with tossing out hundreds of billions more pounds of food each year because, surprise, with no preservatives in, pre-cooked food doesn’t last long enough for anyone to purchase it, take it home, and consume it safely?

      • newname says:

        Worse, calcium is a METAL that BURNS IN WATER, suggesting that boutique Italian sparkling water is not only deadly but awesome.

      • trentblase says:

        Don’t forget that carbon dioxide dissolved in water becomes carbonic acid!

      • human_shield says:

        Most grocery chain plain chickens are pumped with water too. Usually like 15%.

    • Tom Foolery says:

      There’s dihydrogen monoxide in my food!

  4. outoftheblew says:

    You could probably write this article about the majority of additives to food products. Especially the evil dihydrogen monoxide that’s been known to kill so many.

    I’m curious what effect ethyl alcohol has as a chicken additive, though.

  5. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Sweet! Now I can keep from freezing in this godforsaken winter wasteland by just eating a chicken. I also like that they add ethyl alcohol – now I don’t have to choose between red or white wine!

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      I’m picturing Four Loco crossed with Jones Soda’s Thanksgiving drink for some reason…

    • failurate says:

      Make it methyl alcohol and you could forget about colors all together.

  6. danmac says:

    Anything with artificial sweeteners…they leave this super-sweet aftertaste in my mouth that I can’t stand.

    • Kibit says:

      The aftertaste they leave is nasty. If I drink or eat something with artificial sweeteners I can taste it right away and I will spit it out. So gross!

    • delicatedisarray says:

      I also notice an aftertaste.

      Another reason I do not buy artificially sweetened food/beverages is that my husband is allergic to aspartame.

    • centurion says:

      Man, I’m glad I’m not the only one. Nobody beleives me when I say I can taste a difference in ANY diet soda. Even my wife thinks I’m full of poo. The stuff is just nasty, nasty, nasty.

  7. Bativac says:

    Man, I hate to do this, but I’m quoting Wikipedia. (It was the easiest and quickest source to find.)

    “The acute oral toxicity of propylene glycol is very low, and large quantities are required to cause perceptible health damage in humans; propylene glycol is metabolized in the human body into pyruvic acid (a normal part of the glucose-metabolism process, readily converted to energy), acetic acid (handled by ethanol-metabolism), lactic acid (a normal acid generally abundant during digestion), and propionaldehyde. Serious toxicity generally occurs only at plasma concentrations over 1 g/L, which requires extremely high intake over a relatively short period of time. It would be nearly impossible to reach toxic levels by consuming foods or supplements, which contain at most 1 g/kg of PG. Cases of propylene glycol poisoning are usually related to either inappropriate intravenous administration or accidental ingestion of large quantities by children. The potential for long-term oral toxicity is also low. In one study, rats were provided with feed containing as much as 5% PG in feed over a period of 104 weeks and they showed no apparent ill effects. Because of its low chronic oral toxicity, propylene glycol was classified by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use as a direct food additive.”

    • reddfredd says:

      The moral of the story, too much of one thing can usually kill you. Even too much oxygen can kill a person.

      • Bativac says:

        Yeah. I remember when I was in college, somebody from one of the fraternities died of “hyper-hydration.”

        • MrEvil says:

          It’s water intoxication. Often associated with water drinking contests. Drinking too much water leads to disruptions in nerve function which in turn results in disruption of the heart. What happens to a car battery if you dilute the electrolyte too much? It will no longer produce electricity, same thing can happen to you.

    • SunnyLea says:

      Thank you. There is PG in *everything*.

      Lotion, cosmetics, artificial vanilla, baby wipes, shampoo, petfood… I could keep going for decades.

      Medically, PG is most often used in TRANSDERMAL PATCHES. On your SKIN!

      As for me? I smoke the stuff. No, really. Anyway, you aren’t going to drop dead from a deli chicken, really.

  8. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    I have a feeling that going to the “natural health information centre” to find out about common commerical prepared food additives is about as useful as checking with PETA on how to cook a tasty sirloin steak.

    • Raekwon says:

      Bah beat me by a minute. Guess this is a typical “Phil didn’t research it” type article.

      • Necoras says:

        Seems that way to me. Sensationalist headline for a story that has no actual substance.

      • a3maniac says:

        Agreed. Not to mention someone already posted Wikipedia links showing this is just a regular food additive. People need to be less scared of scientific names and stop bitching about “chemicals”.

        Water is a chemical. Apples are made of chemicals. “Chemical” is not a bad word.

        Sigh… we need more science education in this country. And shame for The Consumerist for posting this article!

        • Kate says:

          I spent a while once arguing with a whole foods clerk that something made out of chemicals was not bad, as everything is made out of chemicals. He got it in the end, but seemed think there when you say chemicals, that people know that you are talking about bad chemicals.

          bad bad baaaaad chemicals.

          • Platypi {Redacted} says:

            I argued with a girl in college that “hated all chemicals”. She finally started to come around when I pointed out she spent over an hour each day applying chemicals to her face and hair, then using MORE chemicals to strip them off. You just can’t dodge chemicals, since many of them are INSIDE YOU!

  9. Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

    Looks like number 5, right after sodium phosphates . . . flavorings. Mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm! Some good ole’ flavorings!

  10. Raekwon says:

    So? It is used in many products and maybe he should get his info from a more reputable site.

  11. Rebecca K-S says:

    That seems like a really awesome website he used as his source.

  12. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    This is why context is important. Instead of going to the Natural Health Information Centre website, which looks so reputable, try the FDA.

    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fcn/fcnDetailNavigation.cfm?rpt=scogsListing&id=262

    “At lethal or near lethal doses (6 g per kg or more), however, it has been reported to cause kidney damage in several species and toe deformities in chicks. These doses contrast with the few mg per kg per day estimated in Section III of this report to be the human daily dietary intake of propylene glycol. There is no evidence in the available information on propylene glycol and propylene glycol monostearate that demonstrates, or suggests reason to suspect, a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in future.”

  13. coconutmellie says:

    One shouldn’t apply the safety warning information found in Material Data Safety Sheets to packaged food items – it’s not the appropriate context. The warnings in MSDS are meant for acute exposure to the chemical in question, such as spilling propylene glycol all over your arm or inhaling it directly from the bottle.

    The original poster, quite frankly, is yelling fire in a building due to a hot ember on the floor.

  14. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    “Natural Flavorings” sometimes cause me to pause. Could be almost anything.
    Rat excrement is a “Natural Flavor”, but do you really want it in your food.

  15. Dragon Tiger says:

    According to Wikipedia, there are many consumer applications for propylene glycol. They also say that toxicity isn’t reached until you get to 1g/L, and you’d have to consume a lot of it over a very short period of time (amounts that would be extremely difficult for humans to ingest).

    While the compound may be toxic in it’s raw form, in the amounts we’re exposed to, it seems relatively harmless. I’d be more worried about beverages containing sodium benzoate being left in the hot sun.

  16. nova3930 says:

    As far as I’m aware, propylene glycol is safe for human consumption. I know its the primary active ingredient in non-toxic antifreeze and is used as a solvent for some pharmaceuticals….

  17. chocula78 says:

    Propylene Glycol is also the main ingredient in most “personal” lubricants.

  18. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    Google is your friend. The first result – wikipedia – explains it all:

    Applications: “As a humectant food additive, labeled as E number E1520″

    “When used as a food additive, the humectant has the effect of keeping the foodstuff moist. “

    “It would be nearly impossible to reach toxic levels by consuming foods or supplements, which contain at most 1 g/kg of PG.”

    “Because of its low chronic oral toxicity, propylene glycol was classified by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use as a direct food additive.”

    “Prolonged contact with propylene glycol is essentially non-irritating to the skin.”

    Oooohh, look! The next ingredient on the label above is ETHYL ALCOHOL! This chicken is deadly!!!

  19. alSeen says:

    I used to work for an airline and have deiced many planes. I’ve ingested my fair share of propylene glycol. When the wind is blowing and you are in the wrong position, that stuff comes spraying back at you. It doesn’t taste that bad.

  20. basilray says:

    OMFG. Really!?!

    Propylene Glycol is in everything: asthma inhalers, food flavorings and extracts, brake fluid, antifreeze, airplane and hospital ventialation systems…even fog machines. It’s perfectly harmless.

    It’s also one of the chief ingredients for electronic cigarette use.

    • lockdog says:

      I worked at SeaWorld helping to design and install special effects. When we introduced a chilled fog effect over one of the pools we presented all of the research showing that propylene glycol as used in our foggers was not toxic to humans or marine mammal. The company then went ahead and did a full year of independent research and lab tests before they okayed the effect around the orcas. It was worth it in the end however, we made the cover of LeMaitre’s(high end fog and haze machines) product magazine that year!

  21. HoJu says:

    I’m more concerned about my brake fluid containing food!

  22. bsh0544 says:

    I think the real lesson here is to check your Google search results a little more carefully. Don’t just pick the first one that’s not wikipedia and call it a reliable source.

  23. mrvw says:

    I love MSG. if a food doesn’t have MSG, I generally won’t buy it

    • Chaosium says:

      Every delicious savory thing found in nature has very high natural amounts of MSG. Not much like the doses you’ll find in Accent, but MSG alone isn’t the problem as some think. MSG + sodium, as mentioned elsewhere in the thread.

  24. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    As a chemist, I urge you to read the MSDS on table salt (sodium chloride) which, IIRC is also a skin irritant.

    MSDSs are useful for people who work in industry with vast quantities of the stuff. I’ve seen first year chemistry textbooks wave them off as CYA extremism.

    You know what other chemicals you put in your car? Ethanol, for one. Oh no! My vodka contains a gasoline additive! Water, for another. Oh no! My coke contains an washer fluid ingredient.

    The fact that something is used as an ingredient in something else you wouldn’t drink, doesn’t make that something in all quantities a horrible noxious thing, especially since everything is a horrible noxious thing at some given quantity.

    • dpeters11 says:

      In an open wound at least, for sure.

      I like this section: Keep in a tightly closed container, stored in a cool, dry, ventilated area. Protect against physical damage. Containers of this material may be hazardous when empty since they retain product residues (dust, solids); observe all warnings and precautions listed for the product.

      That’s why I never let my salt cellar be empty, it becomes hazardous!

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        You want to hear a funny story?

        In my first year of general chemistry lab, I had to perform a halogen test. We’d been warned numerous times to wear gloves at all times around the lab, but I wasn’t wearing any for this test. So there I am working very carefully, trying hard not to get the substance I’m scooping on my hands. Only after I’d done this painstakingly, did I actually realize that I was using an abundance of caution… with table salt. One the first lessons I learned about working from rote with the lab manual: You waste time.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I just looked up the MSDS on salt and it has multiple warnings regarding ingestion:

      Section 3 – Hazards Identification

      Ingestion of large amounts may cause gastrointestinal irritation. Ingestion of large amounts may cause nausea and vomiting, rigidity or convulsions. Continued exposure can produce coma, dehydration, and internal organ congestion.

      Section 7 – Handling and Storage

      Handling: Use with adequate ventilation. Minimize dust generation and accumulation. Avoid contact with eyes, skin, and clothing. Keep container tightly closed. Do not ingest or inhale.
      Storage: Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from incompatible substances. Store protected from moisture.

    • zt says:

      Yeah, look up the MSDS’s for water and sand, and you’ll never go to the beach again.

    • dangermike says:

      In that case, yeah, probably no harm to you or the reagent. But trust me, being in a surpervisory role over people who refused to develop the rote good habits like religously gloving up or not using common scoops or intermediary containers for chemicals being portioned for charging or not returning excess materials to the vendor’s packages can be a HUGE headache, usually by having to troubleshoot large quantities of semifinished goods that don’t fall into their expected conformance acceptability ranges or less often but far worse, having to dismiss a skilled worker who has become sensitized to the products they need to handle.

      I have a saying. Paranoia keeps chemists alive.

  25. Liam Kinkaid says:

    Rabies. If any food lists rabies as an ingredient, it can stay on the shelf for all I care.

  26. captainwalnut says:

    I bought “yogurt” covered pretzels recently which had Titanium Dioxide disturbingly high on the ingredients list. Sunscreen pretzels!

  27. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I look for food with gluten.
    I don’t know what it is but boy is it delicious!

    John Pinette
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUlf1F05gTA

  28. allstar3970 says:

    If you turned all the stories like this around couldn’t you say WOW! that chemical thats in rotisserie chicken is ALSO useful for other things!

  29. zigziggityzoo says:

    ohgod mineral oil?!

    THE HORROR!

    It’s safe to eat. A typical fluoride toothpaste has enough fluoride in it to kill a man.

    • borgia says:

      Hate to break it to you but that is not true. Toothpaste contains sodium fluoride. The published LD50s (dose that will kill 50% of the population) ranges from 52–200 mg/kg depending on the animal it was tested on. Taking the low value of 50mg/kg times 80kg(average weight of man) we get 4000mg or 4 grams of sodium flouride that are needed to kill you. An average tube of toothpaste is 8 oz or 226 grams. The w/v of sodium flouride in a tube of CREST Extra Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste with Tarter Protection is 0.243%w/v so in each tube 226 grams*.243%/100=.549grams of sodium fluoride you need to eat 7 tubes to kill an average man. However, I do agree with you that Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is pretty nasty for its useful effect. It makes toothpaste foam but in sensitive people it can cause repeated mouth ulcers.

      • zigziggityzoo says:

        2.5 grams is lethal to a 200 lb person. So I concede that it would take about 4-5 tubes to kill a man.

        However 18mg is enough to cause severe intestinal… issues for the same 200lb person.

  30. zigziggityzoo says:

    You people should look up the following:

    Triclosan
    Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
    Fluoride

    THAT’s the kind of thing you should be worried about. Not this.

  31. katerrific says:

    Isn’t propylene glycol what was in that counterfeit toothpaste that killed some children in another country? Can’t remember where… Maybe China. Scary.

    • npage148 says:

      They substituted ethylene glycol (which will destroy you) for propylene glycol due to either cost savings or incompetence. As formulated with PG it was safe but the EG swap made it icky

  32. jeffjohnvol says:

    Its also what is in mountain dew. Its non toxic. Ethylene glycol is toxic though.

    Talk about mountain out of a mole hill.

  33. ahecht says:

    Another primary ingredient of Brake Fluid is Oxidane (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxidane). Imagine how shocked I was to find out that all the water I’ve been drinking my whole life also contains very high levels of liquid Oxidane. The MSDS for liquid Oxidane warns that it can be fatal when inhaled and accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.

  34. citking says:

    I brew my own beer and use propylene glycol when bottle carbonating the beer. In moderation there is no problem with it. In large, insane amounts then yes, it can be dangerous.

    I work at a 2 year college and just asked our chem professor about propylene glycol. His reaction was that it is not classified as a hazardous substance and is used in many applications where water retention or air retention is a fluid (such as beer suds) is desired. Now ethylene glycol is a different story, he said, and some people might confuse the two. But in small, common-sense amounts there is nothing wrong with propylene glycol at all.

  35. sjb says:

    Here is the MSDS for something that you are exposed to in large amount every day.

    http://www.dhmo.org/msds/MSDS-HydricAcid-AppliedPetrochemResearch.pdf

    Scary stuff it seems.

  36. DrLumen says:

    Yep, it is in a lot of stuff.

    The only thing about that really causes me concern about propylene glycol is that it is used in some pet foods. ie some soft cat foods have it. It would likely be easier for our pets to get too much since they are smaller and some may be more susceptible to it.

    The chemicals themselves don’t really cause me concern but there a lot of times I don’t want to know where it came from. I don’t eat anything artificially colored red without thinking twice. Not so much that it’s dangerous but kinda disgusting. Spoiler — don’t look up Cochineal. You may not eat cherries again – regardless of how good they may be.

  37. SilentAgenger says:

    The sun is bad for you too, but we can’t live without it.

  38. guspaz says:

    Really? You’re going to trust the nutjobs that run a website that:

    - Claims that HIV does not cause AIDS
    - Claims the information in a video can prevent cancer entirely
    - Claims you can power your car with water
    - Claims that sunburn (which is really a radiation burn) can be healed by “DNA repair cream”
    - etc.

    I never expected to see this sort of garbage on The Consumerist.

    You know what else is found in automotive break and hydraulic fluid and industrial antifreeze? Water. Water also can be a skin irritant and cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage if consumed in excess quantities.

  39. yaos says:

    You know what else is in that chicken? Carbon. You know what else has carbon? Babies. If you eat chicken you are eating babies.

  40. ndonahue says:

    The source is natural-health-information-centre.com C’mon.

    One really can’t expect a website by that name to be unbiased about the theoretical risk of trace chemicals — I especially like the material safety data sheet reference which refers to concentrations much higher than used in food.

    If the OP needed to set the wayback machine to sometime last decade (anyone look at the site?) and needed to pass over a substantial number of non-critical references found by typing “propylene glycol in food” into Google, I’d say we’re probably not using the types of filtering that are required to judge the ‘weight’ we should apply to data found on the internet.

    Without explicitly promoting Wikipedia as a better source, I’ll just offer a slightly more technical sounding explanation about why this guy (and Consumerist by extension) are contributing to the general problem of the internet making mountains out of molehills:

    The acute oral toxicity of propylene glycol is very low, and large quantities are required to cause perceptible health damage in humans; propylene glycol is metabolized in the human body into pyruvic acid (a normal part of the glucose-metabolism process, readily converted to energy), acetic acid (handled by ethanol-metabolism), lactic acid (a normal acid generally abundant during digestion),[9] and propionaldehyde.[10][11] Serious toxicity generally occurs only at plasma concentrations over 1 g/L, which requires extremely high intake over a relatively short period of time.

  41. shepd says:

    Did you know most natural health products contain film? Yes, the very stuff that gets dipped in all those horrible chemicals that most people consider “plastic”! Stop taking them immediately.

    Besides, I hear that the ingredient can also give your legs/butt a cottage cheese look.

    Seriously, natural-health-information-centre is something you’d consider at all authoritative on this matter? *sigh*

  42. Kibit says:

    High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oil, Artificial Sweeteners of any kind, MSG, Soy, Mineral Oil and Paraffin.

    I may be missing something, but I think thats it.

  43. lawnmowerdeth says:

    This was the same BS that was used to attempt to ban e-cigs in New York. “It’s has an ingredient that is in antifreeze!”

  44. Chaosium says:

    I wonder how much “health information” far more dangerous than trace amounts of propylene glycol can be found at natural-health-information-centre, hrrm.

  45. BuddhaLite says:

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=propylene+glycol+in+food

    And from the FIRST link for Wikipedia you’ll find this gem:

    As a solvent for food colors and flavorings

    What’s that in the food label? It’s flavorings! Good job Consumerist for more FUD.

  46. Jimmy60 says:

    Automatic brake fluid?

    What? Automatic brakes? Do they just know when to apply themselves?

  47. SgtBeavis says:

    Consumerist, I like you guys, I really do..

    But there are times I think you should rename the website to “The Alarmist”

    You should either remove this story or at least update it to show that Daniel is mistaken.

  48. A42NT1 says:

    When will we hear about the incredible dangers of dihydrogen monoxide? It kills thousands of people a year, yet no one is doing anything about it. Where is the outrage?
    /sarc

  49. borgia says:

    Personally, I give the label credit for listing the chemical name rather than a industry name used to dusguise the real production. For example, confectioners glaze. This is used to coat jelly beans, medical pills, and provide some degree of water resistance. It is made using insects, not the actual insect but a husk it makes from an excretion from its body. Those of you in the furniture business know this as shellac a type of varnish.

  50. TheGreySpectre says:

    “Because of its low chronic oral toxicity, propylene glycol was classified by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use as a direct food additive.”

    You still don’t want to chug a shitton of it, but you don’t want to eat 4 cups of sugar straight either. Also the stuff used in food products has different purity standards than the stuff in antifreeze.

    I love how the general tendancy is for people to be like “OMG this sounds like a chemical EVERYBODY PANIC”

    there is a reason Propylene glycol is used in the nontoxic antifreeze (which again you don’t want to chug) as opposed to Ethylene glycol which is toxic.

    Propylene glycol gets used in tons of food products if you actually read the ingredients.

  51. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Oh nooes!11 There’s dihydrogen monoxide in my chicken as well–it’s in Windex, too!!!

    Oh, wait…

  52. Stitchopoulis says:

    When my eyes get dry, you know what I put in them? A mixture of Polyethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol.

    And that’s the “natural” drops, with no preservatives.

  53. dee1313 says:

    Two links:
    Wikipedia article for Propylene glycol:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propylene_glycol#Applications

    SMBC making fun of you (kind of):
    http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1714

    Do more research next time. If you want to make sure everything is good to go for yourself, don’t buy chicken from the supermarket in the first place. Haven’t you seen Food, Inc.?

  54. edosan says:

    Oh, no! Chemicals are in things! Run! Hide!

    Are we going to see another “here’s a McDonalds hamburger that’s been sitting out for a while — OH NOES ITS NOT REAL FOOOD!” article now?

  55. edosan says:

    By the way, the website for the “Natural Health Information Centre” looks really reliable. Maybe you should report on the “cancer cure that REALLY WORKS!” they have advertised there.

  56. justagigilo85 says:

    Loosen up your sphincters everyone.

    Propylene glycol(PG) is an additive many, many applications.

    I’m pretty sure the PG in this product is in the flavoring (that is, PG is the carrier). Same with the ethanol.

    Another non-issue. Please, consumerist, filter your articles. I don’t read half the shit on here anymore.

  57. lucky13 says:

    No wonder those rotisserie chickens always taste like roadkill.

  58. Sparkstalker says:

    Maybe I’m a bit more cynical than most, but I’ve got to wonder the authenticity of the “tip”. That is, did the OP send this in trying to drive hits to the website listed?

  59. Wes_Sabi says:

    Propylene glycol is used in the food industry as a wetting agent for gums/thickeners. You add the dry gum (in this case carrageenan) to a small amount of propylene glycol which then can be added to water without causing the gum to clump. The ethyl alcohol is the base for the flavor.

    • Wes_Sabi says:

      Oh yeah, since propylene glycol is used as a processing aid, it technically doesn’t have to be listed in the ingredients so it’s in a lot more foods than you realize.

  60. kujospam says:

    warning there is carbon in gasoline, and in lots of foods. lol

  61. Jim Fletcher says:

    OP is crying wolf. From the MSDS:

    Relatively non-toxic. Ingestion of sizable amount (over 100ml) may cause some gastrointestinal upset and temporary central nervous system depression. Effects appear more severe in individuals with kidney problems

    I imagine he’d be in pain if he ate enough chicken to ingest over 100ml of the stuff. Well, I *HOPE* he’d be in pain, otherwise he’s got bigger problems than a little paranoia.

  62. zephyrluna says:

    It’s hard to avoid that skin contact when they put it in deodorant.
    It’s also what they use to de-ice planes, which does a lot to explain airline food.

  63. Dipsomaniac says:

    Ah, I see the Natural Health Information Centre also has a video that “could reduce your chance of getting cancer to ZERO “, but you have to watch it NOW before it’s “banned”.

    Oh, yeah. They sound like a reputable source for health information.

    (Propylene glycol isn’t a strong skin irritant, BTW. I think Daniel needs to do a little research.)

  64. owtytrof says:

    Who can I complain to that my brake fluid has a chemical found in rotisserie chicken? :(

  65. kierzandax says:

    How about not linking to pseudo-science sites that wouldn’t know real science if it bent them over and humped them to death?

    WTF, are you run by Jenny McCarthy?

    Go to a real source:
    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fcn/fcnDetailNavigation.cfm?rpt=scogsListing&id=262

    “Propylene glycol can be ingested over long periods of time and in substantial quantities (up to 5 percent of the total food intake) without causing frank toxic effects.”

    So, eat your chicken. It’s fine.

  66. lola lola says:

    Hydrogenated oil. It brings on a asthma attack for me so I avoid it as much as possible….but damn those rotisserie chickens smell so good I may still have a hard time avoiding them.

  67. jacromer says:

    I’d like to view it as “My brake fluid has a chemical found in rotisserie chicken!”

  68. jacromer says:

    I’d like to view it as “My brake fluid has a chemical found in rotisserie chicken!”