Electronic Cigarettes, Diethylene Glycol or Propylene Glycol. Cancer?

Electronic Cigarettes and Diethylene Glycol or Propylene Glycol. What are these components? Are they at risk of cancer or not?

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Diethylene glycol

You may have heard that the FDA found traces (1%) of diethyleneglycol in a pre-filled cartridge of the "Smoking everywhere" brand. Diethylene glycol is certainly a highly toxic substance used in the manufacture of tobacco (and antifreeze), but NOT used for the manufacture of liquid electronic cigarette . Because it is used in making tobacco, cheaper, less refined nicotine may have been contaminated with diethylene glycol residues. It can also be a byproduct of low grade propylene glycol manufacture. It is the most likely explanation of how a cartridge may have been contaminated.

In the other 17 cartridges of other brands tested by independent laboratories no traces of contamination with diethyleneglycol were found.

Many cigarette-liquid manufacturers use USP-grade nicotine (the same as that used in FDA-approved nicotine patches and chewing gum) and USP-grade propylene glycol and do not contain any trace of diethyleneglycol.

Propylene Glycol Propylene Glycol is commonly confused in the media (and by well-meaning hobbyists) with diethylene glycol as a toxic ingredient found in antifreeze. (Antifreeze is actually more commonly made with ethylene glycol.) Although propylene glycol can be found in some antifreeze, it is added to it to be LESS toxic.