Update: Vapes No Safer than Smoking Tobacco, Study Finds
December 29, 2015 – E-cigarette vapor damages DNA in ways that could increase the risk of cancer, according to a new study published in the journal Oral Oncology. Human cells exposed to the vapors suffered DNA strand breaks, apoptosis and necrosis far sooner than those that were left untreated. Click here to learn more.
December 8, 2015 – Vapers could be at risk of developing the deadly lung disease bronchitis obliterans after researchers at Harvard School of Public Health found diacetyl in 75% of flavored e-cigarettes tested.
“Recognition of the hazards associated with inhaling flavouring chemicals started with ‘Popcorn Lung’ over a decade ago,” said Joseph Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the study. “However, diacetyl and other related flavouring chemicals are used in many other flavours beyond butter-flavoured popcorn, including fruit flavours, alcohol flavours, and, we learned in our study, candy flavoured e-cigarettes.”
Allen and colleagues tested 51 leading brands of vapes and e-cigarette liquids for the presence of diacetyl, acetoin and 2,3-pentanedione, two related flavouring compounds that have been linked to respiratory illness in the workplace.
Each vape was placed in a sealed chamber attached to device that drew air through it for 8 seconds at a time. The researchers then analyzed the air stream.
At least 1 of the 3 chemicals was found in 47 of the 51 vape flavors tested. Diacetyl was identified above the laboratory limit of detection in 39 of the flavors tested. Acetoin and 2,3-pentanedione were found in 46 and 23 of the flavors, respectively.
“Since most of the health concerns about e-cigarettes have focused on nicotine, there is still much we do not know about e-cigarettes” said study co-author Dr David Christiani, Professor of Environmental Genetics. “In addition to containing varying levels of the addictive substance nicotine, they also contain other cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde, and as our study shows, flavouring chemicals that can cause lung damage.”
What is Diacetyl?
Diacetyl is known to cause inflammation, scarring and constriction of the tiny airways in the lung (bronchioles), which significantly reduces air flow. Although the chemical is considered to be safe when eaten, it may be hazardous when inhaled over a long period of time, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). There is currently no known cure for popcorn lung except for a complete lung transplant. The Harvard researchers said “urgent action” is needed to “evaluate this potentially widespread exposure via flavored e-cigarettes.”
Bronchitis Obliterans Litigation
Bronchiolitis obliterans first attracted regulatory attention in 2000, when the Missouri Department of Health notified the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of 8 potential cases of the lung disease in a single popcorn plant. Two years later, the agency reported an increased rate of bronchiolitis obliterans in workers who mixed butter flavorings at microwave popcorn plants. These findings led employees of popcorn plants, flavoring manufacturers and related industries to file hundreds of lawsuits around the U.S.
Diacetyl Side Effects
The diacetyl contained in e-cigarettes and vapes may increase the risk of the following serious side effects:
- Bronchiolitis Obliterans (aka Popcorn Lung)
- Fixed Airway Obstruction
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Diseases of the Small Airways
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Additional health problems
Do I Have a Diacetyl Class Action Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in diacetyl lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new popcorn lung cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured by diacetyl in microwave popcorn or electronic cigarettes, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a class action suit and our lawyers can help.