Vape’s Fruity Flavors May Be More Toxic Than We Thought
When you vape, you are not breathing in the cancer-causing resin. But you breathe in whatever chemicals make up the flavor of your juice. It turns out that some of these fragrances are unsafe to inhale , but we don’t have enough research yet to tell which ones.
The latest research is being done in frog embryos, so this is an early stage of the research before looking at how these scents affect humans. The researchers exposed the embryos to six different flavors of vape liquid. For the two tastes, the anatomy of the embryo’s face was not formed correctly. This suggests, but does not prove, that the combination of chemicals can also interfere with human embryonic development.
The truth is, we know very little about the safety of vaping fluids, reports Diana Crowe at The Atlantic . We know that a flavoring agent called diacetyl causes lung damage when inhaled from a popcorn factory where workers who inhaled the flavoring were in a dire condition that is now called “popcorn lung.” But the flavors of vape liquids remain a mystery for the most part. You can’t even tell from the list of ingredients what chemicals they contain. The fluid that caused the worst facial deformities in the frog study contained only ingredients listed as “flakes, berries, cream, citrus fruits.”
Meanwhile, there is little we can do to find out if a given liquid is safe. One fragrance company, Flavourart, uses a laboratory called TrustiCert to conduct toxicity tests . They expose cell cultures to steam and assign a safety rating to each fluid based on whether it damages cells. This testing doesn’t give a complete picture of what’s really going on in your body, but if a flavor damages cells in cultures, there’s a good chance it can do the same in your lungs. TrustiCert testing is both funded and indirectly benefiting the vaping industry, but there is no unbiased alternative yet.