A recent study funded by British American Tobacco notes that there’s yet another compound potentially found in e-liquids could cause some health concerns.
The study, because it was conducted by BAT who have several vapor brands in their stable, is quite literate in the way vaping products work. Therefore, they do make note in their study that things can vary based on the type of device used and user habits among other factors.
In a nutshell, the study notes that acetoin will degrade over time, forming the much feared diacetyl (the chemical behind popcorn lung.) The study estimates that e-liquids older than 18 months are the ones that are potentially dangerous.
The study encourages e-liquid manufacturers to avoid using the substance in their products. Of course they do make a point to note that none of BAT’s products contain the chemical.
Because this a preventable thing, and how widespread the use of the chemical isn’t widely known, you can be sure that you’ll hear scary, panicked news stories any minute now. Because the report was put out by Big Tobacco, you’ll hear “experts” spin this into some sort of plot.
It is increasingly clear that the use of diacetyl and acetyl propionyl in e-liquids poses an avoidable hazard for vapers. Our study shows that acetoin, whose intrinsic toxicity appears to give rise to little concern, also poses a hazard to vapers through generation of diacetyl post-manufacture. Our findings of diacetyl in liquids stored for 18 months shows that use of acetoin will lead to diacetyl production in e-liquids throughout their normal shelf lives. Consequently, use of acetoin should therefore be viewed with the same concern as use of diacetyl and acetyl propionyl. As a result of these studies we have added acetoin to the compounds (such as diacetyl and acetyl propionyl) that we do not use in our formulations, and we advise that other e-liquid manufactures and flavouring suppliers move away from use of acetoin as ingredient in e-liquids.Acetoin is a precursor to diacetyl in e-cigarette liquids – ScienceDirect