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Vegetable glycerine (glycerol) - safety discussion

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Casey C

Super Member
ECF Veteran
Aug 3, 2009
Fort Wayne, IN
    These are different physical processes at work. Vaporization is different from Boiling(evaporation). One is a physical phase change(requiring a specific enthalpy). The other is a radical change in particle size. In an atomizer (as well as a fog machine) the glycerin or PG assists the water present to vaporize(this is not steam(gas), rather a mixture of PG/VG/water that has been tranformed from a liquid to a very small particulate vapor- particle size of about 0.04micron). The nicotine(and any other flavors/excipients present in the initial liquid) are taken "along for the ride", so to speak, dissolved within the microparticles. This is why it takes less energy to create vapor then it does steam , and also why the atomizer can function at lower temperatures. This property of glycerine/PG/water solutions has been known for some time. It is a similar principle used in a nebulizer machine(that delivers albuterol/cromolyn/ipratropium solutions to asthmatics). I went to Pharmacy School for 6 years to learn about things such as this. I'm sorry, I did not mean to offend you. I just don't want information that is patently false distributed on these forums to cause hysteria among us fellow vapers. We already have enough to worry about with the FDA, PayPal etc... Ok that's my final word.

    oh and one more smug response, you find me an e-cig that nebulizes, then vaporizes, therefore atomizing, and I will buy it from you


    Super Member
    ECF Veteran
    Jun 7, 2009
    jax fla usa
      i have been trying different mixtures of pg and vg and nic juice and at first i was having lots of trouble figuring out why i was able to vape a lot when i first got my ecigs but then i started having panic attacks - sometimes extreme episodes

      now i am thinking that it may be temperature related - it seems that when i puff fast enough to keep the vapor relatively cool that i am having no trouble - but if i puff slow and the vapor gets warm - that is when i get the symptoms - and it only takes a minute or two for the symptoms to occur

      my first 901 atomizer would heat up the juice more and the vapor was harsher tasting - but it went out and the second atomizer is cooler and smoother

      my 510 gets juice built up in the bottom and it doesn't vape well unless i puff really slow and then the vapor gets hotter

      i blew out the atomizer and got all the extra juice out of it so that now when i puff it doesn't get as hot and i get good vapor

      bottom line - i could not find any correlation to the juice mixes and the panic attacks

      but i am starting to think that there is a correlation to temperature of the vapor / atomizing


      Super Member
      ECF Veteran
      Apr 25, 2009
      Vapin Hot Florida
        since post count will allow me to eventually link things I'll keep going,

        I'm not interested in the lethal dosage of acrolein, I pointed out that the amounts produced would be small, its long term exposure to a tissue irritant that produces effects at 2ppm that I'm worried about. Throat irritation, respiratory problems, secondary infections, although cancer is ruled out by it not being a carcinogen, it is something you'll be sucking into your lungs repeatedly and regularly

        I might have to agree somewhat here...I tried using VG for about a month..the first few weeks I was fine..I had a little bit of sneezing, but it eventually turned into a full blown sinus infection/stuffy nose that took 5 days to clear up after qutiting VG all together...When I would blow my nose, it was the consistency of glue almost, very sticky and green.. I can only imagine what was building up in my lung tissue..

        Sun Vaporer

        Moved On
        ECF Veteran
        Jan 2, 2009
          since i can't link the article I'll post excerpts

          "The Effect of the Humectants Glycerol and Propylene Glycol on Mainstream and Sidestream Smoke Deliveries of Acrolein, Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Acetone and Propionaldehyde"

          "It was found that glycerol, added at a level of 3% to the filler, contributed about 8.5% of the total mainstream smoke (MS) acrolein. A more recent investigiation (2) showed that after spiking cigarettes with glycerol, a small increase in MS acroleim delivery was noted, however a significant increase in sidestream smoke (SS) delivery was found. In order to confirm these findings a more extensive project was commissioned. "

          "For MS the addition of glycerol and/or propylene glycol to the filler had no significant effect on the acrolein delivery. In fact, acrolein deliveries at high humectant content, ( 5%) were lower than for the reference cigarette. This is probably due to a lower weight of tobacco in the filler. For SS the addition of glycerol to the filler had a significant effect on the acrolein delivery e.g. 5.4% glycerol gave a 50% increase in acrolein delivery. The acrolein does not appear in the MS smoke in significant quantities perhaps due to-filtration by the filler rod or the filter itself. Approximately 1% of the available glycerol was converted to acrolein during smoking. Propylene glycol had no effect on SS delivery of acrolein. The cigarettes containing both humectants also showed increased acrolein deliveries which were directly proportional to the glycerol content of the filler."

          from what I'm reading, propylene glycol appears much safer, the OP was quite correct

          Casey C----the evidence based on acutal studies concludes that there is no acrolein production and that VG is no more or less safer the PG. Until more tests are done to prove otherwise, there is no point in stating speculation. This debate about VG v. PG has been going on here for a long time and since then numerous Suppiers and manufactures have done studies and have not found acrolein.

          Bottom line is if you do not feel comfortable using VG--then do not use it. But please refrain from rank speculation to people who have been looking at this issue for a long long time here.




          Full Member
          Feb 14, 2010


            New Member
            Mar 30, 2010
              I read just about every line in this thread and a for real LOL moment when I got to this.

              that is calming. I though more about this, why would they sell it if it was going to go all WW2 on us?

              I'm new to vaping and through what little research I did thought that VG would be the better choice. There were links posted in this thread that I did not visit but there does seem to be an underlying potential hazard to a VG based e-liquid.

              I now have concerns that I otherwise would not have. I was prepared to go full on VG now I'm not so sure. I ordered 4 small bottles of VG based e-liquid prior to reading this thread. They seem fine to me. Putting this information into context I will be much more tentative to the temperature of my atomizer and draw length.

              After reading this thread I feel like I should give PG a try to see if it will work for me however many of the e-liquid distributors that I have researched and am eager to try out only sell VG formulas. 8-o

              Regardless I'm glad I came across this forum as this is not the only thread I've found to be informative.


              Unregistered Supplier
              ECF Veteran
              Dec 13, 2009
                I am not trying to derail this thread. Only possibly throwing something out there that might put it to a rest since we all may be totally on the wrong track. Here are my thoughts after doing extensive unqualified,unscientific research on the Internet as well as my own 18yrs of experience as a Pest Control Advisor.

                We all know that some of us are sensitive to PG while some of us are sensitive to VG. If you know it....don't use it. If your not sure....switch to DIY so you can control the exact composition and then figure it out.

                Here's the rub.....I have not seen anyone express any real concern about the flavorings themselves. And I personally believe we have a lot more to be worried about on this front. The problem of course is that it is very difficult and a huge amount of work to try and find out every single chemical that is in the juice your vaping. But when you see a label that says PG,pure water and flavorings claiming that that somehow means it's safe you better beware. The chemicals that make up the catagory of "FDA approved food flavorings" would make your skin crawl.

                My point here is simply that if you can identify a certain brand or flavor of juice that causes you distress then I would be inclined to think the problem may not be related to the PG/VG issue at all. But a specific flavoring, food scent or food additive that is in that particular juice. So again....stop using it and see what happens.

                btw....hats off one more time to the folks that run this forum. This is why they do not approve any supplier who makes claims about the inherent safety of their own product or ecigs in general. :thumb:
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