Last updated on January 26th, 2020
Can You Buy Vaping Products That Are Formaldehyde Free?
You may have read an article reporting that e-cigarettes and e-liquids contain formaldehyde. For those of you who are wary of fake-news, you may be wondering if it’s true, or whether it only applies to some, and not all vapor products. Here are the answers to your vaping questions and concerns.
The public really knows very little about this substance. Fewer understand it’s potential dangers. Most of us have visions of well preserved dead fetuses or brains swimming in glass laboratory jars. There’s really more to it than that.
Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring organic compound with the formula CH2O (H-CHO). It is a common aldehyde gas that’s formed by oxidation or incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. Aldehydes are also called Carbonyls as they contain a carbon atom double-bonded to an oxygen atom.
Formaldehyde is in the air you breath, in products you buy and in foods you eat. It’s also naturally produced in your own body.
The answer to this question is YES and NO.
Regarding E-Liquids – Although not listed as “formaldehyde”, the aldehydes acetoin, acetyl propionyl and diacetyl may be lurking in your e-liquid.
Not long ago, minute amounts of those chemicals were found in some e-liquids; particularly those that had a cream, vanilla or cinnamon flavor. Although research on the issue showed them to be generally harmless, many ecig companies took action; reformulating flavors or removing some e-liquid flavors from their product line. The result is that you can now buy e-liquids that are free of aldehydes.
If you’re concerned about aldeydes in your e-liquid, check out our most popular post…
The bigger concern is that some people have been led to believe that vaping devices naturally deliver this compound. Some people even believe the parts contain this compound. Sensational news stories that make such claims are being debunked by many respected researchers. The fact is, vaping product hardware is composed of parts commonly used in hundreds of thousands of electronic devices.
According to the National Institutes of Health and BioMed Central vaping emits 0.007 parts per million (PPM) of formaldehyde. About the same amount, 0.005 PPM is found in a kindergarten room.
Under certain conditions; however, e-cigarettes can delivery formaldehyde hemiacetals. (more on hemiacetals in a bit).
This may be potentially dangerous to your health if you continually vape at extremely high wattage levels using an advanced vape mod – one that let’s you manually adjust the device’s temperature, and one that is devoid of any safety features.
If the wattage is set too high for the atomizer coils, they can’t handle the resistance so they start to burn. As a result formaldehyde hemiacetals are released.
Vapers do not tolerate this type of vaping, in fact, the taste is so horrible, they never vape at extremely high temperatures which produce what’s called “Dry Hits”. Here’s a popular chart used by advanced vapers to avoid burning their throats and their atomizers.
Cranking up the wattage on your advanced vapor product isn’t the only way to get a “dry hit”.
If you continue to vape when the e-liquid in your tank runs out, the wick will overheat and you’ll get a nasty taste in your mouth signaling that “incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons”. You won’t get any vapor; just air that tastes like burnt socks.
This can easily be avoided if you keep your e-liquid topped up, or change your disposable cartridge when it’s empty or starts to taste a bit burnt.
On mobile devices the chart can be scrolled horizontally as well as vertically
If you’re an advanced vaper and prefer setting your own “safe” temperature, you can buy a “Temperature Control” (TC) vaporizer. It will never go above the temperature you set and you’ll never get a dry hit, a burnt taste or any dangerous gases.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed formaldehyde as a probable or known carcinogen “under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure”.
Other U.S. institutions, have it listed as a suspected human carcinogen, albeit a weak one.
Dr. Konstantin E. Farsalinos, one of the world’s leading experts on vaping studies said the most recent formaldehyde vaping scare was “a political campaign with no scientific content”.
Dr. Farsalinos conducts replicate tests which recreate the results of negative vaping studies. He regularly shares those results with world health agencies including the FDA, with the intention of spreading scientifically sound information.
Here’s what he had to say about recent research studies into formaldehyde and hemiacetals in vapor products including e-liquids.
Despite the uproar from the pro-vaping scientific community, many smokers and current vapers are wondering whether vaping is dangerous.
Here’s a chart that compares formaldehyde in ecigarettes with the tobacco cigarettes. It was created by Philip Morris International, the world’s largest tobacco company.
All e-cigarettes emit minute amounts of formaldehyde per puff, but it is so minute that it cannot be deemed toxic. There have been near equal levels found in kindergarten rooms. The level is dramatically higher in tobacco cigarettes.
Here’s another interesting statistic from the World Health Organization
Some e-liquids were found to contain minute levels of carbonyls; specifically diacetyl, acetoin or acetyl propionyl. Reputable e-liquid manufacturers no longer use these flavor enhancers. Also, if you are vaping at normal temperatures, (as the Farsalinos study indicates) your ejuice will not produce formaldehyde.
Remember, for every scary headline, there are scores of reputable scientists and researchers who have debunked it.