Why you should avoid diacetyl in your e-liquid
Diacetyl, for short called DA, is a naturally occurring compound used in beer fermentation. It is also synthesized for its rich mouthfeel and buttery taste and is used as a flavoring agent in food products. The fear over it is due to it being the likely culprit in eight cases of popcorn lung, a deadly and irreversible lung disease that affected workers in the popcorn factory during the 1990s. Diacetyl is safe to eat in food but presents inhalation risks. The popcorn factory workers have been subjected regularly to the chemical’s industrial-sized vats filled with hot oil which is far from the trace amounts contained in any e-juice. But, even though the risks are low in comparison, many vapers may choose to prevent that.
Diacetyl was the first chemical found to be potentially harmful in large doses. The issue began with a worker in a popcorn factory who developed “popcorn lung” which causes permanent lung problems. This was found to be attributed to excessive levels of ingestion of Diacetyl, which is what is used in buttered popcorn. A worker would inhale these fumes in a popcorn factory at a far higher right than in vaping, but it was a point of reference for us to look into.
As vapers, we consume a fairly large amount of vapor in our lungs daily, particularly if you are using a sub-ohm vaping system. Not to the same degree as a popcorn factory worker, but enough to make it alarming given that we are vaping the e-liquid and chemicals directly into our lungs instead of a second-hand approach as seen in a field. This is A big deal when it comes to E-liquid Safety.
The levels of diacetyl recorded in many of the common liquids are well above the safety limit set by law regulators. Even the levels shown in juices as “trace amounts” are well above the concentrations indicated for exposure. Diacetyl also occurs at higher percentages in cigarettes than in vaping. We find this to be an unwanted exposure to chemicals in vaping that is not needed to make e-liquid.
What does Diacetyl have in mind? It is for purposes of flavoring. These are flavoring chemicals used to create notes of milky and buttery flavor. These are used to produce smoother flavored flavors and many of the manufacturers’ available flavoring chemicals use these chemicals to get the flavor profile this want.
A diacetyl vape results from the inclusion of diacetyl in an e-liquid’s flavoring. How’s the diacetyl getting in there? It is in the ingredients for the flavor. The diacetyl is not VG, PG, or nicotine. Some of the flavorings that are sold contain diacetyl. Some of the flavors known to contain the chemical are raspberry, custard, and cookie flavors. Choosing an e-liquid that does not contain diacetyl makes it easier to prevent a diacetyl vape.
The good news is there are still some great vape juice companies that will sell you plenty of diacetyl-free options. And their claims are backed by independent laboratory testing. Flavorah is one such company with years of experience in the industry. Their flavoring is made for vapor. It is different from flavoring made for beverages and baking.