Electric Cigarette/E Cig and Antifreeze Ingredients (diethylene glycol)

I always find it interesting how things can be spun into sounding deadly. Well, I also believe in getting past the spin and getting to the real truth. Such is the case with the recent E Cig findings of diethylene glycol (AKA Antifreeze Ingredient). When taken in this context, one would instantly come to the conclusion that this is very bad. A bit of research reveals that this is not as bad (or as deadly) as the report would have you believe. While diethylene glycol is toxic in very large doses such as drinking straight antifreeze (see bottom of article for toxicity comparisons), what causes the toxicity is quite interesting. You see, upon ingestion, ethylene glycol is oxidized to glycolic acid which in turn, oxidized to oxalic acid. In effect, the toxicity comes from your body turning the stuff to oxalic acid. Even more interesting, however, is that oxalic acid is quite common in food plants. Oxalic acid can be found in tea plants, black pepper, parsley, poppy seed, amaranth, spinach, chard, beets, cocoa, chocolate, most nuts, most berries, and beans. Did I mention that diethylene glycol, is 7X safer than caffeine and 28X safer than nicotine in terms of toxicity in its pure form! How about an article reading "Caffeine in Coca Cola is 7X more dangerous than chemical in Antifreeze", that's pretty scary!
So what are the dangers? Well, to date it is unknown how much of the stuff is found in E Cig cartridges. My guess based on the amount of liquid found in the cartridges and lack of action from the FDA is that it is extremely small. In general, healthy individuals can safely consume oxalic acid, those with kidney disorders, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or certain forms of chronic vulvar pain (vulvodynia) are typically advised to avoid foods high in oxalic acid or oxalates. So in conclusion, unless you have been advised to stay away from foods containing oxalic acid due to the above mentioned conditions, then there is little to no danger from the ethylene glycol found in E Cig cartridges. Once again, it pays to do your research instead of basing your actions on bogus and misleading reports.

Toxicity Comparisons

This list will show how "deadly" diethylene glycol is compared to other common substances based on their LD values or Median Lethal Dose values.

Table Salt- up to 3 grams for every 2 lbs of body weight. For example, a 150 lb individual would have to consume 8 oz in a single sitting.

diethylene glycol- up to 1.4 grams for every 2 lbs of body weight. For example, a 150 lb individual would have to consume almost 4 oz in a single sitting.

Caffeine- up to .2 grams for every 2 lbs of body weight. For example, a 150 lb individual would have to consume almost .5 oz in a single sitting.

Nicotine- up to .05 grams for every 2 lbs of body weight. For example, a 150 lb individual would have to consume almost .14 oz in a single sitting.