Glycerol gave no convincing evidence of carcinogenic activity in limited long-term studies involving rats treated orally and rats and mice treated dermally. Administration in the drinking water increased tumour yield in mice previously treated with a known carcinogen. Tests for mutagenicity have generally given negative results although a Soviet study in rats treated orally reported indications of genotoxicity. No convincing evidence of reproductive effects have been seen in rats treated orally or dermally, or in mice fed glycerol during pregnancy. Animal studies involving single or repeated exposure by various routes indicated a low order of toxicity, the possible target sites (particularly following repeated oral administration) being the kidney and gastrointestinal tract.

In man, repeated topical application is evidently a rare cause of sensitization. A few cases of reactions such as lowered blood sugar and unconsciousness, following intravenous or oral doses have been reported in susceptible individuals. Glycerol appears to be of generally low oral toxicity in humans. High concentrations have caused red blood cell and kidney damage after oral and intravenous administration. Glycerol was generally of low irritant potential to human skin and eyes.

Date of Publication: 1993

Number of Pages: 12

CAS Number*: 56-81-5

Format: PDF available for immediate download

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