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#ChemicalCallout: Polyethylene Glycol Compounds (PEGs)

What Are They?

Polyethylene Glycol Compounds image

Polyethylene glycol compounds are widespread in household products from skin care and cosmetics, to baby wipes and cleaners. They are used as thickeners, softeners, moisture-carrying agents, penetration enhancers, and surfactants.


The raw materials used to produce polyethylene glycol are by-products from petroleum refining and can also be derived from natural gas or coal. These are non-renewable sources. Synthesizing PEG compounds can follow multiple different routes, depending on the desired end-product. However, the process always involves ethylene oxide.


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Carolyn Ledowsky

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