December 9, 2015 — Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health tested 51 flavored e-cigarettes and found that 76% contained diacetyl, a flavoring chemical that has been linked to the chronic lung disease “Popcorn Lung.”
There are over 7,000 types of artificially-flavored e-cigarettes on the market. The chemical diacetyl is commonly used in e-cigarette flavors like fruit, candy, and alcohol.
Diacetyl is also used in artificial butter flavoring used in microwave popcorn. The chemical gained notoriety in 2004, after several workers at a popcorn plant in Missouri were diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans — also known as “Popcorn Lung.”
This incurable illness scars tiny air sacs in the lungs, causes excessive coughing, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may resemble Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Researchers looked at 51 flavored e-cigarette products from leading brand-names. They found diacetyl in 39 (76%) products, with amounts up to 239 μg per e-cigarette. They concluded the study by warning:
“Due to the associations between diacetyl, bronchiolitis obliterans and other severe respiratory diseases observed in workers, urgent action is recommended to further evaluate this potentially widespread exposure via flavored e-cigarettes.”
Diacetyl was not the only flavoring found in e-cigarettes. Researchers also looked at two other “high priority” flavoring chemicals that have been identified as possibly posing a respiratory hazard in the workplace. Of the 51 flavors tested, 23 contained 2,3-pentanedione at concentrations up to 64 μg per e-cigarette. Another 46 products contained acetoin at concentrations up to 529 μg per e-cigarette.
Do I have an E-Cigarette Lawsuit?
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