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New CDC report ends the debate over ‘vaping and formaldehyde’

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a very spotted history with the vaping industry, but a recent report officially debunks the popular myth that e-cig vapor is filled with formaldehyde. This fictional story got its start after a paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The anti-tobacco lobby discovered it, and before researching the credentials of its co-authors, they immediately shared it on social media. The story went viral, and even mainstream media began repeating the bogus report.

Even though many vaping advocates like Dr. Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health have aggressively denounced the New England report, the damage to vaping’s reputation was immediate and crushing. For over two years, vapers have been trying to educate the American people of the true facts. Now, a CDC report seems to be attempting to set the record straight once and for all.

The CDC vaping study

Public health officials from the CDC partnered with representatives from two government agencies to collect and evaluate the air samplings of local vape shops. Together with the officials from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS, the CDC team conducted the following procedures.

  • The researchers collected air samples to evaluate for the following “vaping related chemicals.”
    • Formaldehyde
    • Diacetyl
    • Acetaldehyde
    • Acetoin
    • 2,3-Pentanedione
    • 2,3-Hexanedione
    • Nicotine
    • Propylene glycol
  • They also evaluated the safety protocols involving the storage of supplies and products used in the manufacturing of e-liquid, including countertops, refrigeration units, and other “commonly touched surfaces.”
  • Additional swipe samples were collected from the hands and clothing of individual employees from two different locations at various times of day.
  • Vape shops were approximately 1000 SF.
  • Number of employees in the shop at one time did not exceed ten.

What the CDC team discovered is that the vapor from e-cigs is no more filled with formaldehyde than normal, everyday air. Furthermore, toxicity levels of all measured chemicals and substances fell well below the U.S. safety standards.

“Area sampling results showed that background formaldehyde concentrations were similar to the personal sampling results. Low concentrations of formaldehyde exist in many indoor environments because of off gassing from furnishings, clothing, and other materials.”

However, the local vape shops did indeed have a few issues. For example, some employees were caught handling e-liquid solutions without the proper gloves, even though the gloves were clearly insight. And one shop seemed to be storing liquid nicotine solutions in the same refrigerator as someone’s lunch. But other than that, the results of the CDC study seeming went swimmingly. 

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