On Tuesday, October 24, 2000 2:55 PM, Dave Williams
> Ethylene glycol, with additives and packaged as coolant, is incredibly
> sour and tastes *terrible*. No animal is going to take more than a
> couple of licks. I drank some of the stuff once to prove it's not as
> big a deal as some people claim. EG *is* toxic; it'll wreck your
> innards if you drink enough of it, but you'd be hard up to actually
> swallow that much.
I'll agree, my dogs and cats have never shown an interest in the stuff.
However, a thirsty animal will drink almost anything liquid including urine
and saturated saltwater. The National Animal Poison Control Center logged 510
cases of EG poisoning in the US between 7/95 and 12/97 (18 months), 28%
resulted in death.
BTW, EG is considerably more toxic to dogs than humans (even taking the
disparity in body mass into account), and another 3 times more toxic to cats.
> Propylene glycol, marketed as "safe" coolant, is still toxic; roughly
> 50% as much as ethylene glycol. If you can manage to choke enough of it
> down it will still kill you. The whole safety thing is a marketing
Actually death from PG poisoning is rare. It wrecks your nervous system, but
doesn't kill your kidneys as EG does. It's actually used as anti-freeze in
potable water systems, like my motorhome. While enough of it will kill you,
it's LD50 is listed as 20 grams/kilogram, which means a 220 pound man would
have to drink almost 1/2 gallon of the stuff to have a 50% chance of dying.
That's less toxic than 100 proof whiskey (LD50 = 14 g/kg). By contrast, 1/2
cup of EG is considered a lethal dose in humans.
> Lots of people claim PG tastes sweet and animals and children will
> drink it; I taste tested several brands, and that's absolutely not so.
> GAG! BLETCH!
Must be a personal taste thing then. It doesn't taste any worse to me than my
first single-malt Scotch (whiskey) did, and does have sort of a sweet
Bottom line : I still use EG as anti-freeze (PG in addition to being more
expensive is also not as good a coolant), but make darned sure no animals
(human or otherwise) get to drink it.