Wednesday, March 28, 2012

FDA's partial truths and exaggerations endanger health

Electronic cigarettes banned in Argentina
Electronic cigarettes banned in Argentina
The plastic cigarettes function as mini aerosols, releasing artificial smoke with or without nicotine
by Elaine Keller
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association
After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a press conference in July, 2009 to announce the results of their testing of 18 samples from two brands of electronic cigarettes, several countries responded by banning sales of the devices. For example, Uruguay, Colombia, Panama, and Argentina are countries that ban sales altogether, while Canada and Australia do not ban sales of hardware, but do ban sales of liquid containing nicotine.
The FDA press release announced that cartridges "contain carcinogens, including nitrosamines, and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol." Apparently the goal was to make the audience believe that e-cigarettes are quite likely to cause cancer and might even poison users. The trick worked.
The "trick" involved saying nothing that was untrue, but leaving out just enough facts to make the audience draw an incorrect conclusion. Yes, there were "carcinogens", detected, but "including nitrosamines" is a red herring, because the ONLY potential carcinogens detected were Tobacco-specific Nitrosamines (TSNAs). The wording selected by the FDA made it appear as if several different types of carcinogens were detected. Even more important is the fact that the FDA neglected to mention the quantity of TSNAs measured.
We know from testing conducted by other researchers that there are 8 nanograms in 1 gram of liquid that contains 1.6% nicotine. A 4 mg. nicotine patch also contains 8 nanograms. There are no cancer warnings on nicotine patch containers because 8 nanograms is such a miniscule quantity that it has never been shown to cause cancer. In contrast, a pack of full-flavor cigarettes can contain 126,000 nanograms of TSNAs.
So, ironically, the governments that responded by banning e-cigarette sales "protected" their smoking citizens from exposure to 8 ng of TSNAs while they continued to expose themselves to hundreds of thousands of ng of TSNAs, plus many more types of carcinogens, in cigarette smoke!
The press release mentioned "toxic chemicals" [plural] implying that several different types of such chemicals were found. Yet the report cites only one toxin. And this chemical was found in a non-toxic concentration of 1% in one cartridge. The cartridges being tested hold at most 0.5 g of liquid. If users drank the liquid from the cartridges, an average weight adult would need to drink the contents of several thousand cartridges that contained diethylene glycol in a single day to be exposed to a fatal dose.
But users don't drink the liquid. They vaporize the liquid and inhale the vapor. What did the FDA find in the vapor? "Nicotine was detected in both products for all cartridges containing low, medium and high levels of nicotine but was not observed in cartridges identified as containing no nicotine. Screening for the possible tobacco specific impurities cotinine, nicotine-N-oxide, nornicotine, anabasine and myosmine was negative. β-Nicotyrine was detected in all Njoy cartridges but was not detected in the Smoking Everywhere cartridges."
The report does not mention finding any TSNAs at all in the vapor. β-Nicotyrine is neither toxic nor carcinogenic.
Here is the bottom line: Smokers who switch to e-cigarettes are exposed to nicotine if they use cartridges that contain nicotine. Health New Zealand found that cartridges with 1.6% nicotine deliver from 1/10 to 1/3 the amount of nicotine per puff that a puff of smoke delivers. Smokers who continue lighting up tobacco cigarettes are exposed to nicotine, plus tar, particulates, poisonous gasses, plus thousands of chemicals created by the process of combustion. Hundreds of these chemicals are toxic and dozens are carcinogenic.
If someone you loved was a smoker who is unable to quit, would you prefer that they switch to an e-cigarette or that they continue inhaling smoke?
True, there has not been enough testing to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that e-cigarettes don't present any new types of health risks, And the only quality control measures in place are the voluntary measures put in place by manufacturers.
How long will it take before there is a government stamp of approval on an e-cigarette?
I didn't have time to wait around. I was being kept awake at night by loud wheezing. I had a productive morning cough. I couldn't enjoy a good laugh because by the third "ha" I was going into an embarrassing coughing jag. Maybe the next cigarette I lit would be the one that started a tumor growing in my throat or in my lungs.
On March 27, 2009, I switched. The nightime wheezing has disappeared along with the productive morning cough, and I can enjoy a good hearty laugh, without being interrupted by a coughing jag.
I pity the citizens of the countries where e-cigarettes have been banned. How many smokers kept inhaling smoke who might have been able to switch to vapor? How many of those continuing smokers have developed cancer, COPD, or had a heart attack or stroke, thanks to their government being fooled by the FDA's partial truths and exaggerations?

1 comment:

harleyrider1978 said...

Guess where Nitrosamines are also formed? Cooking fish, where TSNAs are measured in microgrammes, but in the Berkeley paper nanogrammes a factor of a thousand times smaller. (2)

Nitrosamines are also found in ham, milk, children's balloons and tap water. (3)

Finally the World Health Organization's cancer mouthpiece the International Agency Research on Cancer says on Nitrosamines: "5.2 Human carcinogenicity data. No data were (sic) available to the Working Group." (4)

So we have a dose that is so low, cooking a fish produces 1,000 times more "carcinogens" on a chemical which has not been proven to cause cancer in the first place.

Junk science that insults the intelligence.


Just a little bit more about the N'-nitrosonornicotine found in SHS/ETS.

However, the dose makes the poison!!

This stuff is NOT present in quantities known to be hazardous!!!

The concentration of N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) ranged from not detected to 23 pg/l, that of N'-nitrosoanata-bine ranged from not detected to 9 pg/l, while 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) was detected in concentrations ranging from 1 to 29 pg/l.

Thus, non-smokers can be exposed to highly carcinogenic TSNA.

NNN = 0 to 23 picograms per liter

NNK = 0 to 29 picograms per liter

1 cubic meter = 1,000 liters

1 nanogram(NG) = 1,000 picograms

Thus, NNN of 0 to 23 picograms per liter is the same as 0 to 23 nanograms(ng) per cubic meter

NNK of 0 to 29 picograms per liter is the same as 0 to 29 nanograms(ng) per cubic meter.

The question is whether or not 0 to 29 nanograms(ng) per cubic meter of a carcinogenic substance is a dangerous level?

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has concluded that inorganic arsenic is known to be a human carcinogen.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) cites sufficient evidence of a relationship between exposure to arsenic and human cancer. The IARC classification of arsenic is Group 1.

The EPA has determined that inorganic arsenic is a human carcinogen by the inhalation and oral routes, and has assigned it the cancer classification, Group A. c6.pdf
6.4.1 Air

Mean arsenic levels in ambient air in the United States have been reported to range from 20 to 30 ng/m3 in urban areas (Davidson et al. 1985; EPA 1982c; IARC 1980; NAS 1977a).

NOTE: 20 to 30 ng/m3 is NOT stated to be a hazardous level of exposure to this known human carcinogen.