Sunday, November 17, 2013

Propylene Glycol in My Food and My Cooling System

  Time to change the coolant, put the Studebaker on blocks and store for the winter.
My son James recycling engine oil at O'Rilleys.

 
  I had drained part of the system last spring when I put in the new water pump.  The instructions read;  that I should run the car a while with water only before re-flushing and installing antifreeze.  My manual states that in addition to the radiator release valve there are two drain plugs on either side of the starter motor, under the block, to get the soot out of the bottom of the block  I bypassed that and instead flushed the system on my slanted driveway, first going up then down. I had run my garden hose the whole time to avoid rust stains on the driveway.  I ran the car and heater and drained and filled about three or four times this way until the water ran clear.  The temp never got over 140, I was more worried about running out of gas.

  It took two gallons of Peak Antifreeze 50/50 ($12.95 ea.) to fill, and even that took stages, as the block needed time to push the air bubbles out.  I had gone to O'Rilleys Auto Supply in Kenmore (the next town) to buy antifreeze as well as deposit some used motor oil for recycling.  I'm so happy that these guys take used oil, so there is no reason for anyone to let this stuff go down into the storm drain.  I have a neighbor that works at Boeing and he never cleans or captures the dripping oil from the junkers that sits on the curb in front of his house.  Such a nice guy too, I don't understand how he isn't worried about the stream runoff?  All in all, it took 4 hours.

  But what about draining my radiator in my driveway. Well, remember, it was only water and rust that was in the block. I had not yet put coolant in it. But when I do another flush, all that coolant will have to go to a recycling center. Engine coolant is made of propylene glycol - some really nasty stuff, so why do we see it so often in makeup and food?  Did you also know they use it as embalming fluid, boat hulls, and paint? Oh, well, it's the concentration of the stuff that's the issue, that is what the FDA says.  I think I'll avoid it in my food and my kids food anyway.

Chemical Structure of Propylene Glycol, it reads as a carbohydrate because it is a fermented byproduct of yeast and carbohydrates and results as a mineral oil like a solvent, yikes.

Below is a good website for the information about propylene glycol and its' industrial and consumer commercial uses. The summary is, it is toxic so try to avoid eating it.