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How toxic is E-Liquid?

Discussion in 'Nicotine' started by MrHoyle, May 2, 2009.

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  1. MrHoyle

    MrHoyle Full Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    Well friends... I just started refilling my own carts and I am always very careful about not getting the liquid on my skin, and always washing my hands after handling the stuff, but I can't help but wonder if I am being unnecessarily cautious. Occasionally some of the juice drips out the back of my supermini and I get it on my lips or in my mouth and I haven't gotten sick or anything yet. So the question is : How Toxic is E-Liquid?
  2. Harry Crazington

    Harry Crazington Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 13, 2009
    Las Vegas
    A one ounce (30ml) bottle of 36mg (high nic) eJuice contains 36mg x 30ml = 1080mg of nicotine. A lethal dose is 50 to 60mg in the bloodstream under ideal circumstances.
    1080mg divided by 60mg = 18 lethal doses per bottle.

    eJuice is also extremely flammable. Put a drop on a metal spoon, apply flame... **poof**

    Wear a HazMat suit (like my avatar) at all times while vaping, also have a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.
  3. kyle82

    kyle82 New Member

    Apr 28, 2009
    wow. what exactly is an e-liquid? another form of nicotine intake? how does it goes guys? and you said it's flammable?? would that be an awful alternative for cigarette.. whuuush.. :mad:
  4. yvilla

    yvilla Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 18, 2008
    Rochester, NY
    Another perspective: Toxic if ingested, sure. But, 36mg liquid is 3.6% nicotine in density. Thus, those drops on your hand have, you guessed it, 3.6% nicotine. The other 96.4% of the drops is composed of propylene glycol, water, flavors. No big deal. I get it all over myself, and simply wipe off with whatever is handy.
  5. Harry Crazington

    Harry Crazington Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 13, 2009
    Las Vegas
    Hi Yvilla, yes if ingested, or injected, or any other introduction to the bloodstream. Also the lethal dose of 50-60mg is for an average adult. It's way less for children, dependent on body size.
    An average ml = 20 drops so 36mg per ml divided by 20 drops is about 1.8mg nicotine per drop, or about an average dose for smoking one real cigarette.
  6. Reverend Damien Caine

    Reverend Damien Caine Full Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Clarksville TN USA
    It's really hard to gauge the toxicity of e-liquid, almost everyone on here seems to assume that pure undiluted nicotine is used in the mix, none of the Chinese fluid is made with 100% nicotine, the measurement Xmg/mL is inaccurate as the measure of nicotine is actually from a solution of nicotine and water. Nicotine, being completely water soluble is not measured or confirmed before production of e-liquid.

    Regardless of this information, it is quite difficult to poison yourself while refilling a cart (I will tell you through, a freak accident, it burns like hell if its sprayed in your eyes)

    Interesting fact, nicotine extraction is usually clear, as it oxidizes, it turns a darker shade of brown, Even completely sealed nicotine solution tends to break down due to the oxidation from the water within the solution, this is usually stopped with liquid nitrogen containment, around −196 °C, which of course virtually stops any chemical change within the solution.
  7. rlorange

    rlorange Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 2, 2009
    It is probably best to consider the toxicity of the separate components of e-liquid separately. The combined toxicity is perhaps unknown but I think it is safe to say that at the quantities consumed e-liquid is safe.

    Propylene Glycol. The lethal dose is more that 1.5liters consumed at one time! the amount consumed by a heavy vaper is close to the WHO recommended daily max intake. Bear in mind that this figure is highly conservative so it is unlikely that an average young and healthy user would experience any toxicity processing and eliminating the PG. If you look at the MSDS for PG the only concern really is chronic low irritation of the mucus membranes from inhalation. Considering most vapers are ex-somokers this is of little concern because this irritation is a million times less harmfull from smoking.

    Nicotine: As we all know Nicotine is VERY toxic, 30mg in a single dose is enough to kill! HAving said that the small does we ingest from smoking (or vaping) is not particularly harmful, perhaps no more than several strong coffees a day... Nicotine will irritate the lungs and throat however.

    The big unknown....

    I am referring to the tobacco essence and flavorings combined with PG and heat from vaporizing coil. Clearly the black atomizer killing residue is evidence of heat induced chemical reactions which may be synthesising toxic compounds. A very toxic reaction product from Glycerine (VG) under heat is possible (See the thread 'The Acrolein problem').

    I have had a mild allergic reaction to one particular e-liquid 36mg Turkish Blended which is relatively dark brown and has a lot of tobacco essence in it....

    Tobacco essence liquids are likely to be more toxic than the other flavours

    Best remember that consuming e-liquid while vaping will put a substantial load on the body. It will definitely work every organ in your body and combined with the rest of life's exceses this load itself may be considered mildly toxic. Again I mention that one needs to compare it with the undisputed toxicity of smoking.

    As for skin contact with e-liquid... nothing to worry about as long as you wash it off, you would need to drip a half a ml on your skin and leave it there for a day before enough nicotine gets into your blood to cause concern. For comparison a nicotine patch has 100+mg in contact with your skin and over 24hrs only 21mg is absorbed.

    Final important point, not all of the nicotine from vaping is absorbed. The heat from an e-cig will destroy some and much is exhaled, also like any alkaloid in its acidic form it is far less absorbable than its basic form. This is the same reason why powdered ....... is so different (and less potent) than crack ......., the latter being basic. Tobacco companies free-base the nicotine so it is more potent, if you don't believe me then buy a pack of unprocessed 'American spirit' brand cigarettes and compare the 'hit' with regular cigs. It is far less potent, there is no difference in the quantity of nicotine just its chemical structure. e-liquid contains the less potent acidic form. From personal experience I believe the nicotine in e-liquid is maybe half or less as potent, so maybe 3mg of nicotine from e-smoking is equivalent to the 1-1.2mg absorbed from a regular cigarette
  8. Harry Crazington

    Harry Crazington Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 13, 2009
    Las Vegas
    There is however another frequently overlooked form of nicotine toxicity....

    Nicotine Speeds Lung Cancer

    Nicotine Plugs Directly Into Lung Cells, Tells Tumors to Grow
    By Daniel J. DeNoon
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    July 20, 2006 -- Nicotine directly speeds the growth of lung cancer, University of South Florida researchers report.
    Tobacco smoke contains agents that cause cancer. But nicotine itself isn't one of them. Instead, nicotine promotes the growth of existing cancer cells.
    Exactly how nicotine does this is now becoming clear: It plugs directly into lung cells, where it jump-starts the cells' growth machinery. If those cells are cancerous, nicotine makes them grow wildly.
    "These events can be expected to contribute to the growth and progression of tumors exposed to nicotine through tobacco smoke or cigarette substitutes," suggest Piyali Dasgupta, PhD, and colleagues at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, USF, Tampa, Fla.
    Dasgupta and colleagues found that nicotine plugs into receptors called nicotinic acetylcholine receptors or nAChRs. These receptors are found throughout the body.
    The finding may help explain why chemotherapy for breast cancer is less effective in smokers and why cigarette smoke helps many different kinds of cancer grow.
    The study appears in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
  9. Reverend Damien Caine

    Reverend Damien Caine Full Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Clarksville TN USA
    Odd, it was explained to me once that this was how a carcinogen behaved.

    The term carcinogen refers to any substance, radionuclide or radiation that is an agent directly involved in the promotion of cancer or in the increase of its propagation

    Yeah, I know wikipedia isn't a great source, but it works here. So, according to this nicotine is a 'whole nother non-carcinogen carcinogen'

    Need more input!
  10. OutWest

    OutWest Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Feb 8, 2009
    Oklahoma USA
    fwiw, from my understanding sugars also promote cancer cell growth. The reason why I say this is because when my father had lung cancer, one of the tests they gave him was a PET scan. How PET scans for cancer work is they inject radioactive glucose into the body, the cancer cells grab onto the glucose and thus they will show up on the PET scan. The doctor explained to him that cancer cells thrive on sugars and will gobble up all they can. It also explains why he was constantly craving foods loaded with sugar in the last couple of years of his life, when in the past he never had a sweet tooth.
  11. ChainSmkr

    ChainSmkr Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 22, 2009
    8-o Is that accurate? If so, I made a major blunder on another post. Hmm, 2nd thought maybe I didn't. It's late.

    ISAWHIM Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 15, 2009
    Jacksonville, Florida

    That would be a catylist. (Contributing device, indirectly responsible for reaction to occur. Wild-growth being the reaction.)

    There seems to be a lot of... "We think", "Suggests", and "Might be"... in that "Medical study"... Even going so far as to create a name indicative of the "supposed", activation agent, without even knowing if it is happening.

    Now we have nicoceptors... So that translates into nicotine being a dietary supplement now.

    Cancer is a DNA-broken cell, that is only broken-enough to be deformed and reproductive, just not completely dead. Thus, the ability to stay alive. Genetics cause cancer, and diets keep them alive once they are ready to break-down. Substances in diets accelerate the inevitable, while radio-activity causes healthy DNA to become broken DNA.

    All the asbestos dust from our car breaks, the pollution/smog in the air, the junk-foods we eat, the radiation we live around, the lack of exercise, the numerous pharmaceutical drugs we consume, the chlorine we inhale every day while showering, the sugars we wash ourselves with, the x-rays, the photo-beam shooting directly at our brains (TV), the radioactive mini-ovens and cell-phones and high speed modems, the bleaches we wash our clothes in, the power-lines wrapped around our houses...

    But cigarettes are the source of all our cancers.

    Sorry, once again, I am calling DR. BS...

    I like the assumption... "It must be the nicotine that is causing our radiation to fail." Yes, because radiation which causes cancer, is not curing it... blame the cigarettes.

    Tomorrow they will tell us of a PG and VG receptor that causes erectile dysfunction. A special cell designed just for PG and VG, which is in almost every food item from here to China. Now that we use it in electronic cigs.
  13. trog100

    trog100 Moved On ECF Veteran

    May 23, 2008
    a real life test conducted by me..

    i smeared (thickly) several square inches of my inner wrist with some TW 36 mg liquid..

    left it on for twenty minutes.. to the dissapontment of some ECF members at the time.. i survived the test with no ill effects.. he he

    and no i aint gonna drink 2 ml (theoretical leathal dose) of the 36 mg stuff to put that one to the test.. so dont ask.. he he

  14. Vicks Vap-oh-Yeah

    Vicks Vap-oh-Yeah Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Mar 9, 2009
    West Allis, WI
    Awww, come on, Trog - take one for the team!
  15. q258

    q258 Full Member

    Apr 24, 2009
    I just about take a bath in the stuff when I refill carts and dropper bottles with some high-test 24mg J.Creek. Occasionally ingest a bit too when it comes up through the mouthpiece. Never had an issue with any of it.....

    Though I'm not sure what caused this midget to start growing on my knee.... :p
  16. Nephthys

    Nephthys Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 30, 2009
    I quickly filled a cartridge without paying a great deal of attention with several drops of 24ml fluid. Unbeknown to me, it was an empty cart - no filling - so upon my first big drag I sucked the juice into my mouth and down my throat.

    I quickly spat, rinsed, and brushed to remove as much as possible. But within moments, I was headrushed and nearly passed out. My heart was pounding, and I felt flushed. Tunnel vision rounded out the horrible feeling of impending death rather nicely.

    I fumbled around, trying to get car keys, purse, cellphone, etc just in case I had to take a trip to emergency care, while at the same time, reading everything I could find on the internet about nicotine poisoning.

    There was math involved. I don't do math, even in calm circumstances.

    The flushing and rushing started to subside to the point that I didn't feel the need to go to Urgent care, just turn up the air conditioning and put down the PV.

    How bad was the reaction? How much Nic might I have enjested or absorbed? How much of the physical reaction was a nic OD conspiring with a panic attack for more fun and excitement?

    I did learn a valuable lesson. "Always pay attention." It's so crazy, it just might work applied to life in general.
  17. gashin

    gashin Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    I dunno - I used to lick up spilled liquid and I'm sure I've ingested more than 36mg in one day. I also chain smoke my vape at least 5-6 hours a day I'm still here aren't I?
  18. DigDreams

    DigDreams Senior Member ECF Veteran

    May 14, 2009
    Oldsmar, FL
    Yeah, I gotta watch myself, some of the liquids taste really good (like the chocolate ones, kinda like Hershey's syrup). I caught myself licking it off my finger after a top-off twice now.
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