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Simplest member of the glycol family, also called 1,2-ethanediol (HOCHCHOH). It is a colourless, oily liquid with a mild odour and sweet taste. Widely used as an antifreeze in automobile cooling systems, it is also used in many other chemical processes. It and some of its derivatives are fairly toxic. Many dogs, cats, and wild animals are attracted by its sweetness and poisoned by drinking ethylene glycol antifreeze that has been carelessly discarded.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ethylene glycol, visit Britannica.com.