This substance is an extra fine, white powder. It is non-hygroscopic, meaning that it does not absorb moisture from the air. It is odorless and mildly toxic to humans, so inhalation and ingestion are ill-advised. In low concentrations, propyl paraben is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.
The primary application of this chemical is a food additive. It works well at inhibiting fungal growth, which makes it a viable preservative for many foods. Although it can be found naturally in plants, insects, and animals, it is manufactured synthetically in high amounts. Other applications of propyl paraben are in cosmetic products, where it can be an ingredient in creams, lotions, and soaps.
This chemical is stable in the air and is not highly toxic. As such, it should be stored in a cool, dry area. Gloves and protective gear should be worn to avoid irritation of the skin and eyes, as direct contact can cause damage. It is also mildly flammable, so it should be kept away from heat sources.