E-Cigarettes Dispense Large Doses of Formaldehyde at Higher Settings

As the debate over the health and safety of e-cigarettes continues, researchers claim they've found evidence of large doses of formaldehyde when the devices are turned up to their highest settings.

There have been increasing concerns and controversy surrounding the health and safety of e-cigarettes. Some researchers claim the devices are a helpful aid for smokers to quit, others say they're a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. However, in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers claim they've found evidence of large doses of formaldehyde when the e-cigarettes are turned up to their highest settings.


For those who aren't familiar with e-cigarettes, they work by heating up a liquid that contains a solution of propylene glycol, glycerol, or both, with the option of nicotine and various flavorings. The liquid is then turned into a vapor that the user inhales.

Rob Stein from NPR has written on the concerns brought forward by researchers relating to high doses of formaldehyde they found. He sat down to interview one of them--David Peyton, a Professor at Portland State University.

In their research, the team simulated vaping by drawing the aerosol into a syringe in order to examine the chemicals being emitted by e-cigarettes. What they found was large doses of formaldehyde—higher than what's usually seen in conventional smoking cigarettes. However, Gregory Conley of the American Vaping Association has another take on the researchers' findings:

"They clearly did not talk to [people who use e-cigarettes] to understand this. They think, 'Oh well. If we hit the button for so many seconds and that produces formaldehyde, then we have a new public health crisis to report.' "

He claims in order to yield these results, an e-cigarette user would have to turn the device's settings to its highest voltage and keep it on for 100 seconds. Conley told NPR:

"… no human vaper would ever vape at that condition, because within one second their lungs would be incredibly uncomfortable."

Peyton and his fellow researchers did dial the e-cigs up to their highest voltage levels, telling NPR that no formaldehyde was detected at the e-cigarette's lower settings. However, he believes that Conley's assessment isn't true:

"As I walk around town and look at people using these electronic cigarette devices it's not difficult to tell what sort of setting they're using. You can see how much of the aerosol they're blowing out. It's not small amounts."

Not being an e-cigarette user, it would seem further research into how vapers use the devices demands some study. The findings here are a good jumping off point, but looking into the practices of e-cigarette users should be the next step. Still, if large doses of formaldehyde do exist at higher settings, perhaps there should be regulations on that as well.

Read more at NPR

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

Unraveling the mystery behind dogs' floppy ears

Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
  • Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
  • Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Keep reading Show less