The Most Toxic Vape Juice Ingredients to Avoid for Safe Vaping
Does the plastic barrel poison the e-juice? Are you worried about what’s contained in an e-juice? Do you even know what they constituted?
How vaping is debated in the media may force you into believing that the ingredients for the preparation of the e-juice are a big issue, but in the real sense, e-juices are prepared from a handful of constituents like nicotine, propylene glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), and some sort of flavoring (food-safe).
Learning the underlying facts about the compositions of these ingredients and their by-products upon vaporizations enables you to allay doubts you might be having.
Notwithstanding, the world of vaping has been receiving immense slack with the majority of people wondering whether or not vaping is safer than smoking. Well, a five-minute interaction with Google will give you a hint of your worries: almost 95% of the content there supports it’s healthier than smoking.
Besides, there have been a countless number of questions regarding the safety of some e-juice ingredients. And because we inhale substances contained in the e-liquids, it’s important to know the truth. Precaution should be taken when choosing the kind of ingredients for preparing e-liquids.
The basic ones whose safety has been proven are VG and PG. The VG PG ratio of the e-liquid will determine the taste, cloud, and throat hit of vaping. Either VG or PG, or both are combined with flavors – natural or artificial – like cherry, menthol, mint, grape and other flavors probably not well known by ordinary users. These additional ingredients introduced to add flavor may not be safe for human consumption.
Vape Juice Ingredients Explained
a. Propylene Glycol (PG)
PG whose chemical name is 1,2-propanediol is a largely used ingredient in e-juice preparation as it vaporizes easily. This fluid is also used in theatrical smoke machines, making shampoos, body lotions, and shaving creams, pharmaceutical fluids, as well as sunscreen.
The use of Propylene Glycol in the production of a wide range of consumer products is associated with the fact that the fluid is generally considered as safe. There is limited information about the effects of inhaling PG but some sort of irritation in the respiratory tract is associated with it, which offers a throat hit similar to the one felt when inhaling smoke.
b. Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
VG with a chemical name 1,2,3-propanetriol is another key ingredient in the preparation of e-juices. As with Propylene Glycol, vegetable glycerin has a multitude of uses ranging from making pharmaceutical solvents, cosmetics, food products, to body lubricants.
Apart from irritating the respiratory tract, this chemical is regarded as generally safe. Also, VG has low toxicity and studies with animals have shown only minor effects may occur.
This is the main reason the majority of people vape. Health risks associated with nicotine are often overrated as it’s difficult to distinguish the effects of nicotine from those of smoke from burning cigarettes. There are indeed larger risks of smoking cigarettes than consuming nicotine in e-juices. Also, people tends to use nic salts.
Additionally, it’s been proved that vapers consume less amount of nicotine compared to smokers, so risks attributable to nicotine can be ignored. Although highly concentrated nicotine can be poisonous, consuming a standard amount is not a cause of concern. The strength of nicotine in e-liquid should be checked and must meet your needs.
Often natural and artificial chemicals are used where the difference between them is minimal. The artificial one will be mainly based on natural chemicals but with some changes probably made along its preparation implying that the product is relatively the same. But regarding the extraction of the real flavor, the benefits of adopting a natural flavoring top.
Changes made during the replication of natural flavors compromise the resulting taste. Also, considering that taste is associated with the chemical properties of a substance, these manipulations can indeed mess around with the taste, and this is the reason why natural flavorings are more preferred.
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Choosing The Right (Safe) e-Juice for Vaping
Vape juice consumers have a wide range of options regaining flavors, bottle sizes, types of vapes, nicotine preferences, et al. to choose from. But what’s happening in the market today is that manufacturers are fighting over the market dominance leading to a decline in prices.
An average cost of an e-juice bottle is relatively lower than you can imagine as companies are producing cheap e-juices to survive.
Obviously, a cheap e-liquid will be prepared with a blend of cheap ingredients like artificial flavoring, low-cost nicotine, high concentrations of PG which is a petroleum-based fluid, and undergo mass production. While the cost of production is very low, the same as the ultimate price of the e-juice, they can cause real harm to people inhaling the vapor.
Organic e-juices are generally considered to be safe as they are manufactured clean and comply with the high standards of production. Artificial sweeteners are not included in their production hence there is no fear of health risks even when over consumed. Unfortunately, their prices are a bit high: the old saying “you get what you pay for” applies.
Also, you can have a look at the top e-liquid recipes, that you try for a different vaping taste.
Top Vape Juice Flavors and Ingredients to Avoid
Some flavorings are safe while others are detrimental to human health. There are a countless number of flavors that are free from harmful ingredients, but, it's critical to understand how to read labels and know which e-juice ingredients you shouldn’t consume. Some of the ingredients you should avoid in e-liquids are explained below:
The spice of cinnamon is extracted from the bark of a Cinnamomum tree. The chemical is linked with some health benefits such as improving control of blood sugar and reduction of risk factors associated with heart infections.
But, have you heard that some species of cinnamon and their oils can be used for fumigation purposes? This implies that cinnamon is a toxic chemical. In fact, cassia cinnamon is characterized by high coumarin levels which may be carcinogenic increasing the risk of cancer and damage to the liver. While its taste and smell may be similar to that of a delicious breakfast, that doesn’t necessarily imply it is great stuff to include in your bottle of e-juice.
According to Emily Wood, an expert on cannabis and advisor at Honest Herb, cinnamon is a product of one of the most toxic chemicals regarding damage to leukocytes. It has been listed as one of the most toxic e-juice additives where its harm can even weaken the capability of lugs to excrete mucus.
Cinnamon contains the compound cinnamaldehyde which is known to cause mouth sores and numerous allergic conditions like gum and tongue swelling, itching sensation, et al., and even breathing problems like short breath, gagging, and coughing.
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Vanilla is also included in the list as it contains vanillin, a chemical that can be toxic when inhaled. Experts associate this chemical with the death of cells, dysfunction of blood vessels, and even heart damage. Vanillin induces skin sensation while ingesting it provokes intolerance reactions.
Now, treatment with this chemical induces skin and eye irritations. Ingesting this chemical will cause similar symptoms which to some it may appear as mere discomfort but in serious cases the effect can translate to serious health problems.
Diketones are not just ingredients used in the vaping industry but in the general flavoring world. They are used to introduce the buttery and creamy flavoring in food products and for this reason in e-liquids.
When used in food products, the law dictates that it should be tested and the contents made known to consumers but this is not mandatory when it’s used in the preparation of inhalation products.
But there is a reason why it's hard to find the information about diketones on labels of e-juices: it’s a name that stands for a group of chemicals. Consequently, many vapers lack the information whether the e-juices they are consuming contain Diketones or not.
Diketones is a name given to numerous chemicals like diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, and acetoin. Each of them is very different but most interestingly, on some occasions, acetyl propionyl and acetoin come with some elements of diacetyl. Out of the three chemicals, diacetyl is the most popular and questionable chemical.
The chemical adds the tasty flavor achieved by microwave popcorn. To establish toxicity in diacetyl, in the 1990s, a group of workers employed in a popcorn factory was reported to contract bronchiolitis after they had inhaled diacetyl for a long period implying that inhaling this chemical was actually harming one’s body.
4. Fragrance Oils
The majority of commonest household cleaning and personal care products like air fresheners, lip gloss, candles, lotions, felt-tip markers, soaps, et al. contain fragrance. Kids are often exposed to these chemicals mainly through skin contacts and inhalation.
The harmful aspect of these products is that they are synthetic petroleum-based products and some are neurotoxicants while others are associated with reproductive birth defects. Inhaling fragrance oils may interfere with the respiratory system hence it is always important to avoid products containing a high concentration of these chemicals.
As a matter of fact, it’s good to entirely avoid all oil-based e-juices, especially for those people who stop vaping hard. Also, it’s been established, through research, that fragrance oils may affect your lungs and even result in chronic lung diseases.
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5. Titanium Dioxide
Titanium dioxide is used as a color additive in food products, drugs, sunscreen products, as well as cosmetic products. Food and drug agencies have issued guidelines clarifying the safety of using this chemical as a food colorant.
However, according to IARC – International Agency for Research on Cancer, titanium dioxide is classified as a “potential” carcinogenic substance. Its nanoparticles are capable of causing oxidative stress which in turn results in mutations, inflammations as well as damage to cells.
The effects of titanium dioxide interfere with the human immune system leading to health problems. E-juices that contain these chemicals should be avoided as these particles are deposited in the lungs and the brain resulting in neurological illnesses.
Consuming huge amounts of caffeine, whether in gaseous (vapor) form or from an energy drink causes symptoms like rapid heartbeat, stomach upset, and feeling jitteriness among others. Also, it can cause the blood pressure to spike resulting in heart problems.
Caffeine is directly absorbed into the bloodstream if it’s inhaled other than being ingested in a drink or foodstuff. If it’s taken in dietary form like in coffee, for instance, the caffeine is diluted with water and/or milk, its absorption will be prolonged.
It’s hard to control the amount of caffeine that should be ingested into the system when consuming it in e-juices. Too much of it in the bloodstream can interfere with the nervous system resulting in loss of consciousness and even seizures. Although caffeine is a primary ingredient used when preparing e-liquids, it’s critical to avoid it by all means.
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7. Mint (Menthol)
Mint- and menthol-flavored e-juices contain a carcinogenic compound, pulegone that has been prohibited by regulators as a food additive. Pulegone concentration extracted mint plant oil is said to be a thousand times when used in e-cigarette e-liquids as compared to when taken in menthol cigarettes through ordinary smoking. Studies show that the tobacco industry has reduced the use of menthol in the manufacture of cigarettes due to fear of toxicity.
8. Complex Flavors
Choosing a mixture of flavors such as “berries and cream” or “banana and strawberry” might expose someone to inhaling more chemicals than they would ingest if they puffed on one flavor.
Research shows that blending several flavoring chemicals results in far more cell damage compared to taking a single-flavor e-juice. This can most likely occur to vapers who choose e-juices prepared from mystery flavors bearing bizarre names.
It is absolutely wrong for a mere flavoring ingredient to result in your body damage. It’s wise to avoid complex flavors because chances are, the more complex they are, the unhealthier they might be for your health.
Now that you’ve known which ingredients are safe and which ones are unsafe, make informed decisions when choosing your e-juice. Always prioritize your safety regardless of the price tag. Choose the vape juice with the best level of nicotine, manufactured by a reputable brand, and with natural flavoring. Most importantly, avoid all the flavors that have been considered unsafe for vaping.