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Propylene glycol inhaling?

Discussion in 'Health, Safety and Vaping' started by BigBuxNoWhammy, Jun 5, 2008.

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  1. BigBuxNoWhammy

    BigBuxNoWhammy Senior Member ECF Veteran

    May 21, 2008
    So have any tests actually been done to determine if it's bad to be inhaling this stuff all day? Who knows, maybe it's worse than tobacco? I doubt it, but has it actually been tested at all? I know they have tested it somewhat because they use smoke machines and stuff all the time.. but that's just inhaling a bit that's in the air, it's not really the same.

    by Admin

    This post is many years old and contains some specualtion and out-of-date information that can be disregarded. On the last page are some links to research showing PG is safe for inhalation in absolute terms: it has 70 years of documented history for this purpose and no one has ever died as a result. In pharmaceutical terms this is not just exemplary, it is highly unusual. For example, aspirin is far more dangerous.

    PG is used in asthma inhalers and the nebulizers used by lung transplant patients. Any sources that say it 'may be unsafe to inhale' would need to explain why it is licensed for inhalable medicines and injectable medicines by all authorities, and licensed for long-term high-volume inhalation under all employee health regulations (it is the main ingredient in theatre/disco fog), and without incident for 70 years.

    However that is not to say there are no cautions because individual tolerance to any given material, no matter how harmless, varies comprehensively:
    • For inhalation duty, only pharma-grade PG must be used. There are multiple grades including industrial grade, agricultural grade, pharma grade. Do not use the cheapest option as it is unlikely to be pharma grade.
    • Some individuals are intolerant to the throat-drying propensity of PG. They should try another brand, or a higher VG percentage in their refill liquid, or change to all-VG.
    See this post:

  2. kodye57

    kodye57 Full Member

    May 28, 2008
    Yea, its a real concern. There will be a GOOD study one day that will tell us for certain. I doubt that it will tell us we are are 100% fine breathing this stuff - nothing this unnatural could be. We are all taking bets here, but I think its a worth it because I KNOW carcinogens aren't good.

    Some friends and I used to put on this show in college that used a smoke machine in a small room. We used it heavily, and we all stayed in the room for hours. At the end, when we were outside we all had this black stuff phlegm in our mouths and noses. I'm sure its a different scenario with this device - well at least I'm hoping it is...
  3. karenwest1961

    karenwest1961 Super Member ECF Veteran

    May 11, 2008
    Virginia, USA
    Well, it's gotta be MUCH better, because since I have gone exclusively e-cigs, I've felt SO MUCH BETTER! Woot!

    I don't think I wanna know anything else right now. :D
  4. sanneke

    sanneke Moved On

    May 28, 2008

    I feel better also.
    I've not smoked a whole lot of "real cigarettes" for about 6 weeks now. (Average of maybe 2 cig,)
    I do get my nicotine fix.

    I know that when people quit smoking they gain weight, because they are looking for an alternative.

    Has anyone noticed a weight gain since using these devises?
  5. dnakr

    dnakr Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2008
    Virginia, USA
    I have... I gained 5 pounds in the last 5 1/2 months.... :evil: :evil: :evil: This is the only thing I can contribute the weight gain too. Sometimes its almost enough to make me go back to real cigs.....

    EDITED: You are correct - I meant to say "attribute"
  6. leaford

    leaford Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    I think you mean "attribute," but don't be too sure about that; concurrance is NOT causation.
  7. BananaDoc

    BananaDoc Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Excellent! Spoken like a true statistician! :geek:

    As far as the PG stuff goes--the only concerns my learned colleauges at the university hospital expressed to me were: [drumroll] possible increased leg cramps [/drumroll]... As our bods process PG into Lactic Acid, the increase in this might cause some cramping. newbie runners sometimes sometimes suffer this as a result of the extra lactic acid they develop as well... my response was; since our bodies process cigarette smoke into--> cancer i will live with any leg cramps.
  8. jimldk

    jimldk Super Member ECF Veteran

    I think I better answer this one...

    My patients and me also been on it for roughly more than 4 months now and we did have early reports of excessive dry throat and mild allergic response to PPG...
    Also noted were increase occurrences of leg cramps..but very transient , not detrimental to one's health....that was seen at 2nd month of intense use but the occurrences seem to resolve later recurrence...

    increase in phlegm(darkish brown in color) seems to be the main complaint after the first month of use but then less nose congestion or rhinitis was reported.... no reported dental staining or damage so far...

    weight loss seems to be more prevalent than weight gain...or for some no actual weight change....still a subjective response...

    no reported lung damage so one complained of shortness of breath or fact most feels a much improved lung to tolerate far heavier strenuous exercise than before...
  9. BigBuxNoWhammy

    BigBuxNoWhammy Senior Member ECF Veteran

    May 21, 2008
    Thanks for the response. I guess no one can really know how bad it can be though cause no one has inhaled it for too too long. I mean, lets say you're inhaling this stuff every day for 10 years, maybe it has a worse effect than tobacco? :S

    I doubt it and dont think thats the case, but still curious
  10. Nazareth

    Nazareth Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
    JimlDK- I just raN across this site which talks about PG and it really doesn't look all that safe- it's listed as a 4 out of 10 which is a moderate risk, and they state that this is for consumption/ingestion/absorptions under 50% PG formulas- I'm wondering if thgis stuff accumulates or if it's expelled quickly enough that we can keep smoking with little worry? Toxicity can lead to skin problems, allergic reactions, kidney problems, liver problems, and from the site "On the other hand, studies done in vitro tests on mammalian cells revealed that some cells underwent mutation." and "Other research conducted twenty and thirty years ago documented toxic effects after repeated small doses of propylene glycol were ingested or repeatedly applied to the skin." It can also lead to lactic acidosis (Which can be fatal in bad cases, and can cause numerous health issues as a side effect of lactic acidosis), and irreversible nerve damage- although this is for the more concentrated forms of PG- but if consistent ingestion causes a buildup- it would seem that introducing it via an altered atomized version (which alters PG's chemical structure I beleive?) might not be such a good idea? Need more info regardign the pharmacology (sp?) on this to see what it's shelf-life is in the body?.

    Not to be a downer, as I really want for this E-Smoking to work safely, but I'm not really liking what I see mentioned on PG- I know all these are worse case scenarios, but really, we're changign hte chemical make-up of PPG by atmozing it (I beleive?), ingesting fairly large quantities of it it would seem, and we're taking it straight into the lungs, heated up, where it clings to tissue, and can conceivably cause mutatiosn in cells if done consistently enough, which as smokers, we certainly would be doing?

    Here's the link: www .naturalnews .com/023138.html
  11. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jan 13, 2008
    Port Charlotte, FL USA
    Great. Polyester fumes from filter fibers and now PG. But thanks for bringing the disturbing article to our attention. It fortifies what lab rats we are for this totally untested use of a Dow Chemical product that the maker says we should stay out of when it's used for theatrical fog.

    But I note this in the article: “The natural alternative would be ‘glycerol’ when flavor is not an issue for a supplier.”

    "Glycerol, a byproduct of bio-diesel production, serves as a humectant, a solvent, a filler in commercially prepared low-fat baked goods, a thickening agent in liqueurs, and it may help preserve foods. As a sweetener, it has approximately 27 calories per teaspoon and is 60% as sweet as sucrose, but does not raise blood sugar levels, nor does it feed the bacteria that form plaques and cause dental cavities. The EWG rated it as a two, a very low hazard.

    "Propylene Glycol has its place. The consumer will need to decide if that place is in his food, medicine and cosmetics. At least, it would seem most healthful to read labels and to limit foods and personal care products which contain PG."

    Note in another post that Dr. Loi is now testing vegetable glycerine (glycerol) in place of propylene glycol. I've been using vegetable glycerine mixed with home-cooked tobacco liquid and pure extract flavors with alcohol. So far, so good. And the stuff tastes great, compared to the bland flavors of e-liquids.

    I gotta think on this one ...
  12. Nazareth

    Nazareth Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
    Yeah I noted that abotu hte Glycerin and wondered if it could be done- The thign is that it's got sugar in it which it might perhaps clog the atomizer a bit, but sugar breaks down in water well enough to clean it I'd think. I almost looked into buying some PPG today to make myu own smokin juice, but I'm thiunking I might just hold off and try the glycerine myself instead.

    The thing is, I sit aroudn and smoke regualr ciggs all day long, which have a couple hundred known dangerous chemicals, whichb are all burned and manipulated with heat, and yet when it coems to just one product (PPG) which 'might' cause a few problems, I get all worried and nervous about it, lol- I'm just wierd that way I guess.

    Two questions- how do you cook down your tobacco? (Like how long, to what consistency etc), and what about all the chemicals in the actual tobacco? Won't they transfere to the smokin juice and when heated by atomization still be carcinogetic? I wonder if maybe pure all natural tobacco- maybe even leaf tobacco might be better for cookign down than regular Cigg tobacco? (Although I think even just the tobacco itself has stuff in it without the addition of all the chemicals put in durign production- meh- we smokers can't win :( )

    I've decided I will be a lab rat as my particular health issues are kinda not so great & a roll of the dice is not really too big a deal to me healthwise, but I'd liek it to be as 'safe' as possible (I don't have a deathwish, but I don't really have a 'life-wish' either- so come what may, it's all been a wierd wacky rollercoaster trip for me- come what may, I've had a lot of fun mostly, but now if I can help others by being a bit of labrat, it's ok to me, just want it to be safe as possible though- don't want ot grow another eye or sprout wings out my ears due to some wierd mutation caused by soem untested chemical or anythign if I can help it)- I'll be doing a lot of E-Smoking experimenting and posting here in forums
  13. leaford

    leaford Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    That does raise concerns. I knew there had been lots of studies conducted on PG, I did not know there were so many contradictory studies. This seems like a pretty thorough and even-handed review, but it doesn't give much of a picture of the overall balance. It mentions individual studies that conclude either no risk, or risk, but gives no picture of what the ratio between the two is overall. I'm not accusing them of giving a slanted impression, but that is a possibility and I need to know more. A handful of studies which conclude that PG is linked to harm might mean something if it's out of 10 studies conducted; but probably means less if it's out of 200.

    I am also thinking that their opening line reveals in inherent bias: "Mention Propylene Glycol (PG) to most people and they will probably tell you that it is a toxin." Really? Most people I mention Propylene Glycol to don't have a freaking clue what it is. I suppose maybe people who automatically associate any unknown chemical with poison would tell you that. The same people who assume DiHydrogen Oxide is a toxin.
  14. Nazareth

    Nazareth Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
    Well I've been doing a little research, & it seems the science isn't settled, and as you state, it goes both ways- Stage actors and stage unions think it is, while production managers think it only bothers sensitive people- the following link was kind of interestign to read through. (note, I tried just a dab of mineral oil on the filter tonight- Uggggh- don't do it- it smoked liek crazy, and the vapour hung in the air longer than PPG, and actually was less harsh breathign in, but got a bit of a headache from it and it tasted awful- some reports say water-based vapours are a bit better fur us than the oil ones- but I'll reserarch a bit more tom,orrow, see what I can find out.)
    Here's the link
  15. masterslave

    masterslave Full Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Another study?

    Public health ministry orders study of e-cigarettes

    BANGKOK, June 13 (TNA) – Public Health Minister Chaiya Sasomsab ordered a study on information of electronic cigarettes to find measures to prevent importing e-cigarettes to Thailand because existing law doesn't cover the new product.

    The e- cigarette consists of a cartridge, an atomizer, and a rechargeable battery. It doesn't contain tobacco but it has nicotine, propylene glycol, a chemical used in a fog machine, and fruity taste. Each cartridge is the equivalent of 15 conventional cigarettes.

    The public health minister said that although e-cigarettes don't emit smoke, they pose harm to smokers with the level of nicotine higher than found in conventional cigarettes.

    He ordered the Food and Drug Administration to conduct a study of e-cigarettes and to discuss with agencies concerned to draw out preventive measures.

    Mr. Chaiya said the target group of this new product is young people as they are eager to try a new thing.

    He added that the intake of nicotine is approximately 50 microgrammes for each inhalation. The substance can cause harm to heart and blood vessels.

    The level of nicotine in blood as high as 25-50 nanogrammes per millilitre can increase a risk of having Ischemic heart disease (IHD). (TNA)

    General News : Last Update : 17:54:32 13 June 2008 (GMT+7:00)
  16. Nazareth

    Nazareth Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
    Hmm- I thought the Nicotine was lower than regular cigarettes? I think the government just wants ot keep peopel addicted to regular cigarettes- that way they can regulate and tax the snot out of people- Besides, there are several nicotine level cartridges you can use, and hte device can and does help people cut down on their nicotine consumptions over time- you'd think that governments would be going goo goo over hte product because it's a help to people health-wise, but apparently, the governments' who claim to be 'looking out for' the health of their citizens are lying through their nicotine stained teeth.

    Found an article on "Atomized Alcohol" today- Remember hte "Oxygen Bars" that were popular awhile back? Seems some entrepeneur came up with the brilliant idea of atomizing Alcohol-

    Atomized Alcohol- all the buzz- none of the bother of hangovers- only problem is that it takes minutes to get the equivilent of shot of liquor, and hte 'buzz' wears off in 5 minutes
  17. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jan 13, 2008
    Port Charlotte, FL USA
    There's an entire thread in Law and the E-Cigarette on the Thailand story. Also a thread (maybe in Health here) on vaporizing alcohol, which the Florida Legislature instantly outlawed. And I mean instantly. One story came out of Fort Lauderdale of a bar offering it, triggering government involvement, and those devices cannot be sold or used in Florida. But there are many ways around the ban ... Keep Googling the Web if you care about this. Hint: Ever heard of dry ice?
  18. Nazareth

    Nazareth Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
    Smoking Dry Ice? Never heard of that- just that it does produce vapour- waterbased

    Just found some McCormick's Coconut a another Rum extract that has PPG in it- giving it a try now- Coconut is a bit strong- gonna have to water it down some I recon- cooking up some tobacco right now to do so. Smokin it strsaight gives off a good cloud of vapour- just dropped one tiny drop into empty Cart to see how it'd work- it's got 25% alcohol in it though
  19. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jan 13, 2008
    Port Charlotte, FL USA
    There are some YouTube videos of alcohol poured over dry ice in a travel cup. The vapor shoots out the sip opening! The guys get drunk in 5 minutes. Not for me!
  20. Minus Sign

    Minus Sign Full Member

    May 2, 2008
    Yes, DOW did studies on PG. Wiki uses them as a source, which answers your question: "Inhalation of the propylene glycol vapors appears to present no significant hazard in ordinary applications. However, limited human experience indicates that inhalation of propylene glycol mists could be irritating to some individuals. Therefore inhalation exposure to mists of these materials should be avoided. Some research has suggested that propylene glycol not be used in applications where inhalation exposure or human eye contact with the spray mists of these materials is likely, such as fogs for theatrical productions or antifreeze solutions for emergency eye wash stations." Firefox 3 is experiencing some teething problems with certain applications, including acrobat, or I'd quote directly from DOW.

    So, not recommended, possibly irritating, but no known lasting health effects yet for most people.

    As for the article on page 1...I lose a certain level of trust when I see watchdog groups cited for scientific information. They have a tendency to distort what hey want to suit their purposes. Call me skeptical, but any wing politic+science=skewed results. Of course EWG finds PG to be toxic; the more toxic chemicals they find, the more funding the get.

    Keep an open mind to information as its presented, to be sure, but remember: watchdogs like to bark.
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