Are Over the Counter Medications and Industrial Adhesives Using the Same Chemical Ingredient?
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Are Over the Counter Medications and Industrial Adhesives Using the Same Chemical Ingredient?

Polyvinyl Alcohol is a widely used water-soluble synthetic, bio-compatible, toxicologically safe polymer that is highly prized and usable due to its superb emulsifying and adhesive properties that are resistant to solvents, oils or grease. It has a high tensile strength and ability to resist oxygen which prevents aging and deterioration. It is used in common over the counter medications, industrial adhesives and household cleaners.

Polyvinyl Alcohol is a widely used water-soluble synthetic, bio-compatible, toxicologically safe polymer that is highly prized and usable due to its superb emulsifying and adhesive properties that are resistant to solvents, oils or grease. It has a high tensile strength and ability to resist oxygen which prevents aging and deterioration. Industrial companies such as DuPont value the chemical for its many adhesive uses in products such as wood, paper, leather, and textiles among others. It is used as a binder for pigmented paper coating, photosensitive materials and is used in small individual sized packages that need to remain water-resistant.

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Other names for Polyvinyl Alcohol are PVOH; Poly(Ethenol), Ethenol, homopolymer, PVA, Polyviol, Vinol, Alvyl, Alkotex, Covol, Gelvatol, Lemol, and Mowiol. It's chemical properties are comprised of (C2H4O)x.

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China is the largest user of Polyvinyl Alcohol for its industrial purposes among other nations. It is also widely used to make what is known as "Green Slime", a popular children's toy. To prevent bacterial growth, anti-bacterial chemicals are added to keep the product clean and bacteria free.

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In the pharmaceutical industry, Polyvinyl Alcohol is used in many products as an application for water resistance such as with tablets, caplets and even packaging to help maintain the chemical integrity of the medication without spoilage or deterioration due to moisture or exposure to moisture. However, once ingested, the Polyvinyl Alcohol eventually dissolves and releases the medication into the stomach and intestinal lining. Other applications are used in eye drops because the chemical provides a thin film due to its emulsifying properties which enables the eye drops to stay adhered to the eye, providing relief of dry eye for both humans and animals such as cats and dogs.

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Polyvinyl Alcohol is used as a substitute for plastic due to the claims of it being Eco-friendly, green and non-toxic, yet contains similar properties as plastic does. Many biodegradable plastic substitute products actually use Polyvinyl Alcohol in place of non-biodegradable plastics that are petroleum based. Uses range from feminine hygiene products, plasticized liners, packaging for food, medicine and other products that benefit from the film coating that Polyvinyl Alcohol creates. 

Even for construction, applying coats of Polyvinyl Alcohol work to preserve and keep intact a water tight seal such as with clay, wood boards, and molds that are needed in ceramics and wax models. Another use is in specially designed towels, squeegees, mops and cloths that are especially durable and water absorbent.  These cloths have excellent drying capabilities and are often used in place of traditional cotton or polyester cloths and towels.

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Comments (2)

Nice article with essential tips. Thank you Debbie. Voted. Please consider me.

Ranked #4 in Chemistry

You're welcome Paulose and thank you as well! You produce so many important articles as well. I've had the pleasure of sharing several through my FB and other sources.

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