Propylene glycol is one of the three or four ingredients in electronic cigarettes. It’s an alcoholic compound which has been the target of intensive media coverage. Critics of eCigs have been using it as a way to condemn these devices as harmful. Most of these claims come from the fact you can find it in aeroplane de-icer and antifreeze. It’s mass produced in the US for everything from medicines to food.
What is Propylene Glycol?
Propylene glycol, or PG as it’s normally abbreviated to, is an organic compound used to retain moisture. It’s used in these cigarettes to prevent ice crystals forming in the water which creates water vapour. Without it, in the winter your devices would simply stop working because the interior has frozen to stop the interior mechanics from working.
Safe for Consumption
The problem with this substance is it’s confused with other glycols found in antifreeze. Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are dangerous and will kill you. These are the active ingredients in antifreeze and they are very toxic. It’s led to people assuming propylene glycol works in exactly the same way. It doesn’t.
The American FDA released a statement on propylene glycol. They said they have classified it as a drug which is safe for consumption. This makes it safe for inhalation because it simply isn’t dangerous. It’s readily sold in food products, so there’s no reason why it should be as toxic as people say it is.
Acute Respiratory Irritation
Another claim levelled against this substance is it causes acute respiratory irritation. In other words, it’s the sudden inability to breathe properly. It’s like your throat suddenly closing up. It usually lasts for a few seconds to a few minutes. This reaction does happen in a small number of people. Experiments have shown the removal of these airborne particles relieves the symptoms.
What so many people fail to forget is vaporised propylene glycol will only cause problems when it’s exposed to someone with an allergy. This is exactly the same problem sufferers exposed to deodorants have to deal with. There’s no reason why deodorants are suddenly going to be made illegal.
It’s the duty of those with PG allergies to make sure they avoid these substances. It’s about responsibility and the ability to recognise one’s own actions are controlled by you not someone else.
70 Years of Study
Since Glenn Miller went missing in 1944 propylene glycol has been studied extensively. It was once used as an effective disinfectant. And these problems have already been discovered. The research appearing today is essentially rehashed from previous studies. We haven’t learned anything new about this chemical.
PG isn’t the perfect substance to use in electronic cigarettes, but the large majority of people won’t have any issues using devices which use propylene glycol. It’s used in everything from antifreeze to pet food. You shouldn’t worry about this. Stay informed about the latest research. Pay no attention to all the hearsay bandied about in the media.
Of all the chemicals in your average eCig propylene glycol is probably the safest.
[box_light]This article is authored by Zack Benson. He is successful fitness trainer and an avid blogger. He writes about various aspect of health industry. He suggests you to visit www.electricig.co.uk to read more about e-cigarette.[/box_light]
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- At a Glance: Electronic cigarettes (nzherald.co.nz)
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