Glow Stick Information


WHat’s inside?


Some glow products use a chemical called dibutyl phthalate.
Other glow products contain a small glass vial inside the plastic tube that contains a mixture of hydrogen peroxide in phthalic ester.
Outside of the glass vial is another chemical called phenyl oxalate ester.
When the tube is cracked, the glass inside is broken and the chemicals all mix together in a reaction that causes the glow.

Dibutyl phthalate  is used to help make plastics soft and flexible. It is also used in glues, nail polish, leather, inks and dyes. iT is likely the culprit for the quick DEGRADATION of the plastic containing Glow fluid, causing it break and leak.

Hydrogen peroxide is used as a cleaning agent. Over the counter hydrogen peroxide is diluted and not as strong as the hydrogen peroxide found in glow sticks. This hydrogen peroxide  is corrosive to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.
It is not meant to be handled or mixed into other solutions.

Phthalic ester is a substance that is added to plastics to increase flexibility, durability and transparency.

Phenyl oxalate ester is responsible for the luminescence in a glow stick. The reaction with hydrogen peroxide causes the liquid inside to glow.

There are Many other substances involved depending on colour and source. IF you read the study done by the Danish ENVIRONMENTAL agency at the end they list all the substances found in the varies glow sticks they tested.

Check here for a study done by the Danish Ministry of ENVIRONMENT on Glowsticks



More STudies

Here is a study done on samples from the beach trying to figure out the effect of using glow sticks for fishing: Study

A fragment from that study: “Loss of viability, cell cycle changes and DNA fragmentation were observed in HepG2 cell line and skin fibroblasts. A non-cytotoxic LS concentration increased the occurrence of the mutagenic lesion 1,N6-εdAdo in HepG2 DNA by three-fold. Additionally, in vitro incubations of spent LS contents with DNA generated dGuo-LS adducts, whose structure elucidation revealed the presence of a reactive chlorinated product. In conclusion, the LS contents were found to be highly cyto- and genotoxic.

Another site where you can see numerous studies on glow sticks and the toxins inside - Global


Our friends over at Nyoka have a comprehensive list of research being done on Bioluminesence and MYCO/MICROREMEDIATION

Check them out: NYOKA