Recent testing showed that Diacetyl had been found in a number of e liquids, primarily sweet flavoured e liquids. Of course the news stations and the like jumped on this revelation, telling everyone how dangerous this is, how e smoking is bad and of course the whole affair was given the usual media flair and pizzazz.
The news came on the back of a TV programmed called Inside Out during which only four bottles that the producers bought and had tested had Diacetyl in them, while the others were clear.
What is Diacetyl
Diacetyl itself is a naturally occurring product, coming out of the process through which cream, butter and buttermilk are made. It is added to food to produce a buttery taste and is perfectly harmless when ingested this way. The issue is that when heated up and then inhaled Diacetyl is not so benign.
The reason that the media have been so up in arms over Diacetyl in that inhaling it over a long period may prove harmful to health, specifically being linked to bronchiolitis obliterans (a lung disease). This lung disease is a serious health concern and may in some cases develop to the stage where a lung transplant was be necessary.
Should Vapers Be Worried
Inhaling Diacetyl is not great for the health over a long period which is why the news channels believed finding it in e liquids was worthy of reporting as they did. We don't disagree, it isn't great news however put into perspective even having Diacetyl present in your e liquid still makes vaping less chemical laden (etc) than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes which are packed with chemicals, many of which have been proven to cause lung diseases and ultimately cancer.
Thankfully additional studies have been undertaken by a Dr Farsalinos whose findings on the subject were presented to the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw. Dr Farsalinos felt the testing Inside Out undertook was far too small a sample to definitively prove anything and so he expanded tests to put together a larger picture.
The new tests looked at one hundred and fifty nine e liquid refills, a mixture of different flavours from thirty six manufacturers and across six separate countries. The aim of the test was to assess whether Diacetyl was present in these e liquids and to measure how much of it if so e smokers would be likely to inhale everyday. He based findings on an average e liquid usage of 3ml per person per day.
He did find that 75% of the sweeter flavoured e liquids tested contained Diacetyl and despite this only being in small amounts it is not great news. That said Dr Farsalinos did comment that while Diacetyl was found in a large amount of tested sweet flavoured e liquids and at levels which he felt were higher than established safety limits that he felt that despite this smoking these e liquids did pose a significantly lower health risk than tobacco smoking.
The media hype hasn't helped in terms of making the issue sounding worse than it is, not to say that it isn't something which needs further attention however the levels in the e liquids were as much as a hundred times lower than in "normal" cigarettes which is something that people should be aware of.
What Happens Now
Obviously Diacetyl being present in some e liquids is not something that will be ignored. As a result of the tests all of the suppliers of the Diacetyl-containing e liquids were contacted in order to explain the results and so that plans could be put in place to avoid this in future. As a whole the vaping industry has taken the new information on board and are also checking with manufacturers to ensure that moving forward Diacetyl is not present.
As an vaper the best way to ensure that you are vaping a "clean" e liquid is to choose to buy yours from a reputable retailer.
*For more information on Dr Farsalinos and his testing and findings there is more information here.