While anti-vaping activists regularly make false accusations against the e-cig industry that their products are just as deadly as combustible cigarettes, decades old research indicates otherwise. In a scientific study from 1945 published by The U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes Health (NLB-NIH) organization, scientists discovered long ago that propylene glycol is actually a highly effective anti-bacterial agent.
The researchers studied the effects on airborne bacteria after being introduced to propylene glycol heated to temperatures as low as 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The team led by a Mr. Theodore Puck found that the vapor produced from this common e-liquid ingredient kills some of the most illness-inducing bacteria known to mankind. including pneumococci, streptococci and staphylococci.
“Data are presented showing the minimum glycol concentration necessary for effective bactericidal action on various microorganisms. Pneumococci were killed by amounts of propylene glycol as low as 1 gm. in 20 million cc. of air. Concentrations of 1 to 5 million to 1 to 10 million were required to produce the same degree of killing of streptococci and staphylococci. The observations here reported add further support to the previously proposed conception of the mechanism of the lethal action of propylene glycol vapor, namely, that a bactericidal concentration of the glycol accumulates in the bacterial droplet as a result of contact with and absorption of glycol molecules from the surrounding atmosphere.”
E-cig vapor kills pneumonia-causing bacteria
The study entitled, The Bactericidal action of propylene glycol vapor on microorganisms suspended in air, is still published for the world to see on the NLB-NIH website. Furthermore, the research seems to indicate that only a small percentage of propylene glycol vapor produces the bacteria-killing results.
“Pneumococci were killed by amounts of propylene glycol as low as 1 gm. in 20 million cc. of air. Concentrations of 1 to 5 million to 1 to 10 million were required to produce the same degree of killing of streptococci and staphylococci.”
And this is not the only propylene glycol study produced by this forward-thinking team of scientific researchers. Mr. Puck and his team, which also includes O.H. Robertson and Henry M. Lemon, conducted multiple studies on the health benefits of propylene glycol over the decades.
Dr. Theodore Puck was such a highly-regarded scientist when he passed away in 2005 at the age of 89 that the New York Times ran a lengthy article on his many accomplishments. Yet, oddly, federal health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seem to ignore his research regarding propylene glycol and continue to demonize vaping.
So, the next time that an avid vapor runs across an article claiming that second-hand e-cig vapor is just as deadly as second-hand smoke, they can now rest assured that the direct opposite is true. E-cig vapor kills the very same airborne bacteria that so often leads to pneumonia, strep throat, impetigo, cellulitis and even food poisoning.