Good science lays to rest the myth about aldehydes

Posted by DrMendelsohn on 4 November, 2017

Farsalinos.jpgLeading researcher Konstantinos Farsalinos has laid to rest the myth about high aldehyde levels  from vaping. His testing has confirmed that

'under realistic human use with modern devices, aldehyde levels are 94-99.8% less than from smoking and of minimal risk to human health'

Two previous laboratory studies (Jensen 2015; Sleiman 2016) had tested vaping devices and found extremely high levels of aldehydes (formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein). Aldehydes are known to cause cancer and have other toxic effects. This led to sensational headlines claiming that vaping had a higher cancer risk than smoking.

However, the devices used had flawed designs which readily generated 'dry puffs'. Dry puffs occur when the heating coil is overheated by high power settings and the device is unable to deliver adequate e-liquid to the heating coil. This results in high levels of aldehydes and a very unpleasant, burnt taste.

These testing conditions do not replicate normal human use. Dry puffs result in the user stopping  vaping immediately, so the high levels reported in laboratory tests would not occur in real life use.

Flawed studies repeated

Dr Farsalinos repeated the above studies with the same flawed devices and found much lower levels of aldehydes in his tests, suggesting errors in the original experiments.

Importantly, he found when vaporisers are tested under realistic conditions in which dry puffs are avoided, the levels of aldehydes are low.

Furthermore, testing with a modern atomiser (Aspire Nautilus Mini) generated NO dry puffs and minimal aldehydes even at HIGH power levels. He found that a daily consumption of 5ml of e-liquid reduces aldehyde exposure by 94.4-99.8% compared to smoking 20 tobacco cigarettes (about equivalent intake of a vaper and smoker).

He concluded that 'aldehyde levels were extremely low and are unlikely to cause any substantial health harm to e-cigarette users'.


The studies

Farsalinos K. Aldehyde levels in e-cigarette aerosol. Findings from a replication study and from use of a new-generation device. Food Chem Tox 2017 (in press)

Farsalinos K. E-cigarettes emit very high formaldehyde levels only in conditions that are aversive to users. Food Chem Tox. 2017

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