Study conducted by the researchers of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has revealed that over 75% of flavored electronic cigarettes and refill liquids consist of Diacetyl, a flavoring chemical linked to chronic respiratory disease.
Two other potentially harmful compounds were found in many tested flavors such as Fruit Squirts, cotton candy and cupcake. Today, the study was published online in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Sources stated that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the flavoring industry have cautioned workers about diacetyl because there is a link between inhaling the chemical and the debilitating respiratory disease bronchiolitis obliterans-popcorn lung.
Joseph Allen, the assistant professor of exposure assessment sciences, has stated that diacetyl and other related flavoring chemicals are used in many other flavors including butter-flavored popcorn, fruit flavors, alcohol flavors and candy-flavored e-cigarettes.
Currently there are over 7,000 varieties of flavored e-cigarettes and e-juice (nicotine-containing liquid used in refillable devices) in the market. Though most people use e-cigarettes, they are not aware of the potential health effects.
The study has taken a look over 51 types of flavored e-cigarettes and liquids of leading brands to test the presence of diacetyl, acetoin, and 2,3-pentanedione, substances that may pose a respiratory hazard in the workplace. Research involved inserting each e-cigarette into a chamber attached to a lab-built device that drew air through the e-cigarette for eight seconds with a gap of 15 to 30 seconds between each draw. The air stream was then analyzed.
Notably, 47 flavors contain one of the three chemicals. Diacetyl was found in 39 of the flavors tested. Acetoin and 2, 3-pentanedione were found in 46 and 23 flavors.
The study co-author David Christiani, Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics, stated that e-cigarettes not only contain various addictive substances like nicotine, but also other cancer-causing chemicals including formaldehyde and flavoring chemicals that can develop lung disease.