Fireball is a ragingly popular, sickly sweet elixir that’s taken America by storm. Fireball is also made with propylene glycol, a common ingredient in some antifreezes. That’s an unsettling fact, so unsettling that Norway, Sweden and Finland just recalled the booze. But it’s not necessarily as unsettling as it sounds.
Propylene glycol is actually a common ingredient in a lot of things — everything from boring old plastics to exciting new e-cigarettes. The US Food and Drug Administration has also deemed the chemical as “generally recognised as safe“. In part for its ability to lower the freezing point of water, it’s used as an additive in a number of foods, including ice cream. For that same reason, it’s also a key ingredient in certain types of antifreeze, namely environmentally friendly antifreeze. If you ever see antifreeze that’s pink instead of Slimer green, that’s probably because it contains propylene glycol and is relatively nontoxic.
“Relatively nontoxic” is an important term here. Propylene glycol is pretty safe to consumer, but it’s not entirely safe. In large quantities, it is most certainly toxic. (Then again, so is alcohol, another key ingredient in Fireball.) Children who consume a big batch of propylene glycol are probably going to get poisoned. Then again, children who drink a big bottle of alcohol are probably going to get poisoned too.
So does this mean you should stop drinking Fireball? Well, that depends on how much you love the stuff. You’re most certainly not sipping a nice, all natural single malt scotch. You’re taking shots of a chemical-stuffed slurry of cinnamon flavoring and whiskey-like liquid.
Scandanavia’s evidently not big on selling chemical-filled stuff. But Fireball represents what the US does best: add gross chemicals to food and produce very effective marketing campaigns. [yle via Jalopnik]
Picture: Fireball / Instagram
Factually is Gizmodo’s new blog of fun facts, interesting photos and weird trivia.