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Dr. Michael Siegel: CA vaping study shows second-hand vapor is harmless to public health

A soon-to-be released vaping study conducted by the California Department of Public Health (DPH) is generating a great deal of early buzz on social media for two significant reasons.  First, the research allegedly indicates that the toxicity levels of more than twenty different chemicals is virtually non-detectable in the second-hand vapor from electronic cigarettes.  The second reason for all the hullaballoo is that the California DPH is apparently attempting to spin the scientific results in the opposite direction to turn the general public against vaping.

According to a recent blog by Dr. Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health, the vaping study allegedly involves the air sampling of a small, unventilated vape shop located somewhere in California.  There were several employees and some 13 customers consistently vaping throughout the air sampling process, and even in light of all the e-cig vapor filling the room, the toxicity levels were still non-detectable for numerous chemicals, including benzene, aldehydes, and xylene, just to name a few.

“This study, although conducted under very high exposure conditions in a small, non-ventilated vape shop with many employees and customers vaping and clouds of vapor visible, did not document any dangerous levels of exposure to any hazardous chemical. Nicotine exposure was essentially non-existent. Formaldehyde exposure was no different than in many indoor and outdoor environments at baseline. Acetone, acetoin, other aldehydes, toluene, benzene, and xylene were not detected. Chemicals that have been associated with "popcorn lung" were also not detected by the standard method.”

“This study adds to the evidence that under real-life conditions, ‘secondhand vaping’ does not appear to pose any significant health risks.”

Siegel also mentions that the air sampling conducted by the California DPH also focused specifically on formaldehyde levels, which were also determined to be minuscule but consistent with levels found in common, everyday air.  Furthermore, even though there were approximately twenty or so people filling the vape shop with plumes of second-hand vapor, the measurements for nicotine content found in the second-hand vapor were also essentially non-detectable.  The only chemicals that were quantifiable were for ethanol and isopropyl alcohol.


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