Glycols is a class of chemical compounds containing two hydroxyl groups. All of the lower molecular weight glycols are miscible in water and the higher molecular weight types are used for lubricants, plasticizers and in make-ups and cosmetic creams. One of the largest use glycols is ethylene glycol which is found in water-based emulsion paints as a dry time (wet edge) extender and freeze thaw stabilizer and is used as a freezing point depressor in automobile anti-freeze/coolant solutions. Propylene glycol is found in products ranging from anti-freeze compounds that may come in contact with food to pharmaceuticals and flavor extracts. Common glycols are ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, propylene glycol, glycerol.
Some glycoles may have neurotoxic effects, may affect cardiocirculatory, respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, and may produce liver, kidney and pancreas damage. Besides, they are also dangerous for the environment as they are air toxicants and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
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