Formaldehyde Higher in E-Cigarettes than Previously Reported, say researchers

Important new findings suggest that high levels of formaldehyde are present in the vapor of e-cigarettes, even when the vape devices are used at the low setting.  There are still no studies on organic vape juice.


Higher formaldehyde risk in e-cigarettes than previously thought



Researchers who published an article three years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine about the presence of previously undiscovered forms of formaldehyde in e-cigarette vapor revisited their research and found that formaldehyde risks were even higher than they originally thought…

Previous study findings

[In their 2015 study, researchers] revealed that e-cigarette vapor can contain the new forms of formaldehyde at levels five to 15 times higher than the formaldehyde in regular cigarettes. The chemicals were detected when the vaping device used in their experiments was set at the high end of its heat settings.

Why the findings are significant

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Unlike gaseous formaldehyde, the newly discovered compounds are bound to particulates in the e-cigarette aerosols, enabling them to be deposited more deeply in the lungs than gaseous formaldehyde.

Why some took issue with the researchers’ original conclusions

The 2015 study drew criticism from e-cigarette advocates, who said that the high settings would produce an unpleasant taste and therefore would be avoided by the vast majority of people who use e-cigarettes.

The new study findings

In their new study, published in Scientific Reports, the scientists found that both gaseous formaldehyde and the new formaldehyde compounds were detectable at high levels (levels above OSHA workplace limits) even when e-cigarettes were operated at lower, more commonly used heat settings. Their findings raise concerns about the overall risks of e-cigarette use.


Journal Reference:  James C. Salamanca, Jiries Meehan-Atrash, Shawna Vreeke, Jorge O. Escobedo, David H. Peyton, Robert M. Strongin. E-cigarettes can emit formaldehyde at high levels under conditions that have been reported to be non-averse to users. Scientific Reports, 2018; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-25907-6