E-cigarette chemicalstied to ‘popcorn lung’Harvard researchers have found chemicals in the majority of leading e-cigarette brands that may lead to a respiratory condition called “popcorn lung.”
The researchers found the chemical diacetyl in 39 of the 51 e-cigarette brands tested. Diacetyl is used to create flavors like butter, fruit, candy and alcohol and has been linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, otherwise known as “popcorn lung,” as well as other serious respiratory conditions. Popcorn lung causes the scarring, swelling and tightening of lung passageways.Two other harmful chemicals also used for flavoring, acetoin and 2,3-pentanedione, were also found in a large number of the e-cigarettes. All together, around 92 percent of all the e-cigarettes tested contained one of the three chemicals.
E-cigarettes have been controversial in the medical and public health communities since their release on the market, as some accuse e-cigarette companies of targeting younger smokers and skirting strict federal regulation.The study was published in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.