POPCORN LUNG: MOB MENTALITY & THE “SHARE”

Sometime around the middle of December 2015, you were likely inundated with the words “popcorn lung” and “diacetyl” along with excerpts from the Harvard study about these diketones being found in certain e-liquids. It seemed to be all over the internet, news and social media feeds. Your non-vaping friends and relatives probably fell all over themselves forwarding emails and sharing Facebook posts full of incomplete, biased and irresponsible reporting. It’s great to have folks looking out for you, but its even better if they have actually read and understood the information before wildly sharing and forwarding.

POPCORN LUNG ATE MY BABY!

Mob mentality runs amok.

Sigh. If wishes were fishes…

Obviously, we have a vested interest in making sure we have all the facts. We like to know – not only for ourselves, but so that we can be sure to provide the latest information and education for our friends and family and of course, for our customers.

Here are some facts you may have missed in all of the popcorn lung brouhaha:

Diacetyl is present in many things you’ll run across in daily life – in fact, you’ve likely already had it a couple of times today – it is an ingredient in everything from beer to snacks. Diacetyl is the main flavoring agent in margarine, shortening, oil sprays and most other artificially flavored butter substitutes. It’s widely used in microwave popcorn, potato chips, corn chips and crackers, but it’s also frequently found in cookies, chocolate, cocoa-flavored products, candy, gelatin desserts, flour mixes, flavored syrups and prepackaged frosting. Sauces, soft drinks, chewing gum and ice cream are other common sources.

It is a known quantity as far as ingesting as a food, and into the digestive tract. There are standards set for its safe use as far as OSHA and the FDA are concerned.

Bronchiolitis Obliterans, or “Popcorn lung” as the disease has been called, is associated with inhaling diacetyl, and got its name due to reports in the early 2000s ofmicrowave-popcorn manufacturing workers contracting the disease. The condition is thought to have been caused by the high percentage of the compound present in the air of the working environment. The workers were exposed to multiple butter-flavoring chemicals, of which diacetyl was the most prominent. The news reports failed to mention whether or not most of those affected were also heavy smokers.

Although some e-liquid manufacturers may use it as an ingredient, even in the highest concentrates, the amount absorbed per use (via vaping) is many, many orders of magnitude lower than any other way the average person will aspirate diacetyl – namely, through traditional cigarettes and/or working in a popcorn factory. Of the samples in the study, even in the highest concentrations, it is still 28 times less diacetyl than what the average pack-a-day smoker will inhale.

Have a look at the graphic below:

Daily Inhaled Diacetyl

Sources:
Harvard: 9 microgram/cartridge average, 239 microgram/cartridge maximum
Farsalinos: average of 56 microgam/5 mL of vaporized e-liquid
Popcorn factory: 0.2 ppm diacetyl
Cigarettes: average of 336 micrograms/cigarette

It is important to note that at Offbeat and Unique, we are NOT advocating for the use of diacetyl.

In fact, we currently only carry two flavors that use it as an ingredient.  There are still a lot of unknowns about its actual effects and we would rather err on the side of caution. Currently, the ETCA defines anything less than 22 mcg as innocuous enough to qualify for “non disclosure” status. Both of our current liquids fall within +/- 5% of that metric, and we will ALWAYS tell you if any of our flavors contain it.

However, we feel that the media has unfairly used this issue to paint the entire industry with a poisoned brush, to prejudice the public in general with the intent to vilify vaping and vapers without bothering to present full information. It is inaccurate – or at the very least incomplete – and irresponsible fear-mongering.

As with any issue that you consider important, we encourage you to educate yourself. Just because information is prevalent doesn’t mean that it is true and accurate. Read, research and find out for yourself. The more you know, the better able you will be to make an informed decision for yourself as well as educate others on something so very important.

And knowing is half the battle.

 

Offbeat & Unique, LLC

235 E. Warner Road, Suite 101
Gilbert, AZ 85296

 Phone:480-818-9846

Email: Info@OffbeatandUnique.com
Website: http://OffbeatandUnique.com


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