How many times have you heard a new news report that gives the critics of e-cigarette a brand new reason to question the safety of e-liquid vapour? One too many times is the right answer. Well, here’s another one for us to analyze. Reports about free radicals coming out e-cigarettes have surfaced recently. A study that was conducted by a group of researchers at Pennsylvania State University claims that e-liquid vapour contains a high amount of free radicals. It is being propagated that this level of free radicals in a particular product can have detrimental effects on human cells. In fact, there are rumours about free radicals in e-liquid products being linked to the development and growth of cancerous cells in the body. Is there any truth to these claims? Let’s find out.
The Findings of the Report:
The new report or the study was published in the journal, Chemical Research in Toxicology. The vaping that were used in the research were commercially available. In other words, tests were carried out on products that are already being used by numerous consumers around the world. Since it is unethical to use human beings as test subjects, the tests were carried out with the use of a vacuum machine that is designed to mimic and simulate the common vaping habit of an e-cigarette user. According to the results of the study, the levels of potentially harmful free radicals in the vapour vary depending on the brand and the usage of the product. That being said, the researchers were able to conclude that any user who took about 200 puffs of e-cigarette a day would be exposing himself or herself to about 2 x 1015 free radicals, which is considerably higher than what one would find in a typical polluted area.
Comparing Free Radical Levels:
At this moment in time, you are probably thinking that e-cigarettes and e-liquids are nowhere near as safe as you thought they were. Your assumptions may not be correct. This is because the amount of free radicals coming out of e-liquid vapour is incredibly lower than its predecessor combustibles. Take regular cigarettes for an example. These products release an astonishing amount of free radicals, which makes you wonder how are smokers still alive? In comparison, e-cigarettes are much safer and there is evidence to suggest that the free radical content in e-liquid vapour is “100 to 1000 fold” lower than the measured content of free radicals in smoke from conventional cigarettes. That being said, it is still important to investigate the levels of free radicals in e-liquid vapour. Just because they are lower than the ones in cigarette smoke, does not mean that consumers should not look into the matter more closely.
Learning More About Free Radicals:
Before we analyze the free radical levels in e-liquid vapour and provide some commentary on the overall safety of the vapour, it is important to learn a bit more about free radicals. According to a number of different elementary school chemistry or physics textbooks, free radicals are basically atoms or groups of atoms that exist without an unpaired electron. This causes the atom to be unstable and makes them extremely reactive. The reactive oxygen species are the most common form of free radicals in the world. How bad are oxygen radicals?
Well, there is no denying that these groups of atoms are potentially hazardous, but it does make sense to not think of them as components that are “really bad”. Did you know that oxygen based radicals are produced by a number of different natural reactions that are present and required in everyday life? There are certain cells in your body which generate free radicals to kill pathogens. Other cells generate free radicals that are needed to improve cellular signalling. This can lead to better regeneration of cells and DNA replication.
How Concerned Should Vapers Be?
First and foremost, it is important to realize that vapers who use e-liquid vapour inhalation as a replacement for smoking are already cutting down the risks of being exposed to free radicals by a gigantic amount. As mentioned before, vaping is 100 to 1000 times safer than smoking as far as the risks of free radical exposure is concerned.
What about those vapers who have never smoked before? Are they putting their health at risk through e-liquid vapour inhalation? Not really. The risks are nowhere near as high as they are made out to be. This is something that we have noticed with e-liquids and e-cigarettes on multiple occasions previously. Majority of the research conducted in this field has proven e-cigarettes and e-liquids are a safe option. It is also important to look at the free radical issue from a different perspective. Since free radicals are not always harmful and can actually be beneficial in many facets in our life, there is no reason to be extremely concerned about the high levels of free radicals.
People who have basic knowledge of science will know that the process of adding heat will lead to free radical formation. Hence, there in need to question the chemical composition of e-liquids. As far as the free radical levels are concerned, they are not high enough to warrant serious health concerns as of this moment.