Diacetyl is one of the favorite topics of authors who want to deter potential Vapers. However, the risks of vaporizing Diacetyl-containing e-liquids are difficult to detect. We do not know with certainty whether the evaporation of Diacetyl is dangerous, but it should be taken seriously, since the consequences of inhaling the chemical powder can be terrible. There is a lot of literature about all sorts of dangers of Vaping. But they remain largely theoretical. There was simply health effects evidenced by vapor formation except for mild irritation caused by dehydration or propylene glycol sensitivity. Does Diacetyl really have anything to fear from Vapers, or is it ultrafine particles, a problem that Stanton Glantz created to scare the public?
What Is Diacetyl?
Diacetyl is a chemical that is used in many foods as a flavoring. It’s part of a class of chemicals called Diketones that tend to give a salty butter flavor or enhance sweet flavors. Many dietary flavors that are available on the market use Diacetyl or other diketones, and these are the types of flavoring products that are used to make the e-liquid. Diacetyl is also known as 2,3-butanedione.
The other popular Diketone used in flavor is acetylpropionyl (AP), also known as 2,3-pentanedione. While Diacetyl gets more bad press, AP is likely to be just as risky as inhalation. Neither Diacetyl nor PA appear to be hazardous if ingested. The FDA names the two chemicals “generally accepted as safe” (GRAS), which means that no adverse health effects from eating or drinking have been observed. But inhaling may be another thing, as we shall see.
In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented eight cases of irreversible lung disease among workers at a popcorn factory in Missouri over the last decade. The eight workers had contracted a nightmare disease known as bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as bronchiolitis obliterans or OB. Soon it got another name: popcorn lung.
Does Vaping Cause Popcorn In The Lungs?
Unfortunately, the popcorn lung cannot be diagnosed positively without surgical lung biopsy, and sometimes not even in this way. When reading reports from studies conducted in aroma factories that isolated known cases, it is clear that there is a spectrum of lung damage likely caused by Diacetyl and other aroma chemicals. All affected employees had no severe permanent lung obstruction. And BO symptoms are easily confused with those of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a much more common disease. Many lifelong smokers have COPD, a combination of emphysema and chronic bronchitis (most patients have both conditions). However, COPD develops slowly over time, while BP can develop rapidly, often in the months after the chemical exposure that causes it.
Is Vaping Diacetyl SAFE?
The question “Is Vaping safe?” It’s probably better to avoid it. Honestly, it’s the wrong question. We assume that if we calculate the safety of E-Cigs, we will turn to smokers or people who would smoke if they did not smoke. This means that we compare the unknown and potential risks associated with the use of electronic cigarettes with the known and proven risks of inhaling smoke from burnt plant material. Vaping may not be “safe”. But for smokers, former smokers or aspiring smokers, Vaping is certainly safer. Even taking into account the potential risks of Diacetyl evaporation, evaporation has enormous advantages over smoking. Remember, cigarettes have at least 100 times more Diacetyl.