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Possible Dangerous Downside To E-Cigs


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19 replies to this topic

#1
squidward

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Hi.. Noob here. Regarding downsides to e-cigs, one I'm wondering concern I've thought about about seems valid to me-- prolonged storage of used moist cartomizers can develop mold undetected due to enclosure. Use of such a cartomizer could result in a major lung infection causing serious illness or death.

I'd like to know if there is any data substantiating this concern, but to me, it sounds legit because you're drawing in foreign air particles (which can include airborne bacteria and viruses) that embed themselves in the batting. Unless refrigerated, the contaminated batting under optimal conditions (warm temperature, moist environment) is subject to bacterial growth and mold spores. And we all know the dangers in breathing in mold.

While I've not heard anyone dying from use of e-cigs yet, it's still relatively new and perhaps this might be the reason for the first death? I wonder what tests have been made on e-cigs to ensure this is not an issue? It seems like a legit scenario I would want to test for if I was in charge of quality and safety testing.

Now, one might argue the heat from the atomizer will curb growth, but what if you don't use it for several days or weeks? Will the heat from the vaping action prevent spores from being inhaled? Probably. Probably not.. But until these things are tested, questions are answered, it's probably something to think about...

#2
Christopher

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This is actually quite a good point and one of the reasons the manufactures recommends that you only use your cartomizer for 1-2 days. It's the same reason why I don't suggest people continually wash and reuse their cartomizers. While there is no current research available the bottom line is, cartomizers are designed to be used short term and not long term.

As for storing cartomizers I think most people use them on a day to day basis. But I do agree storing liquid in a cartomizer over a long period of time is not recommended. :)

#3
Lily

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Hi, while it is interesting to read a concern about mold spores in cartomizer filling, there are mold spores, viruses and bacteria free-floating in the air around us. As an ex-smoker, I always have to weigh the fact that the chemicals and amounts of tar I was ingesting into my throat and lungs was destroying my health. All the 'testing' on analogs has not made people stop using them. Is it prudent to err on the side of caution? Yes, of course. Most everything we do in life has a risk factor. But am I going to become an alarmist over the fact that I use cartomizers on a regular basis, absolutely not!

#4
mcquinn

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I never let mine cool down long enough for anything to grow on.But that is something to consider for folks who keep several carto's or carts loaded.

#5
benjamin1990

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I have been using cartomizer for a VERY long time now. i have not gotten sick from them. but they dont ever get left out in the heat. and my room is always nice and cold. but i guess that might be why. i dont see very much harm being done. but that might just be me. lol

#6
willy

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This is concerning for me because I do leave several semi-filled cartos lying around while I'm vaping other flavors in different cartos for a few days. Do yall think storing them in the fridge would help prevent contamination?

#7
elDuderino

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Let me go ahead and ease your mind friend. For any microorganism to grow certain conditions must be met: Temperature and humidity must be high, typically over 85% but ideally over 90%; food must also be present; this food should be in the form of simple sugars. This is one major reason plants store the food for their seeds in the form of starches! And finally, access to water is needed to fuel the fermentation process of breaking down the sugars for food.

Propylene glycol has a magical effect of preventing mold growth. It is used in humidifiers for this very purpose. Along with its emulsifing properties and very low toxicity, PG, even when mixed with water, keeps humidity levels at 70%. It also prevents water uptake by these microorganisms therefore preventing germination of the spore itself. Indeed, PG is a truely magical substance!

Also, if the carto is made of inorganic material as opposed to, say, cotton, that will inhibit mold growth as well.

Hope that makes you feel better!

* Maybe this thread should be moved to the "concerns" forum?

Edited by elDuderino, 25 October 2010 - 09:30 AM.


#8
Christopher

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That's for the info elDuderino :)

I'll also move this over to the health section

#9
willy

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Excellent, thx for that explanation eldude

#10
elDuderino

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np. I probably could've went more indepth but didn't feel it neccessary to write a thesis here. Hopefully that eases your mind though.

I read a report of a test they did on some rats. Two groups were used, both in containers; both groups exposed to the H1N1 flu virus. The first group was also exposed to vaporized PG, the second group was not. As it stands the group that had vaporized PG with the H1N1 did not get sick. The group that was not exposed to the PG got the virus and died. As I recall, the test was done to see if vaporized PG has the same effect of preventing microbial growth as pure liquid PG.

I, personally, am doing a controlled experiment with vg and pg used seperately as in an agar growth medium -along with a food source- to test fungal growth. It's in it's first week of testing with no signs of growth, either fungal or baterial. I'll post any test result at the end of the experiment.

Dude.

Edited by elDuderino, 26 October 2010 - 09:29 AM.