Vaping liquids in Canada contain potentially harmful chemicals, tests show | CBC News
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Vaping liquids in Canada contain potentially harmful chemicals, tests show | CBC News

This story is part of Vape Fail, a CBC News series examining some of the policy failures that led to the adoption of vaping as a smoking alternative and the resulting consequences. E-cigarette liquids currently on the Canadian market contain potentially harmful chemicals, including a suspected carcinogen banned in food in the U.S.  CBC News independently tested several nicotine vaping liquids at the Western New York Center for Research on Flavored Tobacco Products (CRoFT) in Buffalo, N.Y., last month. The test results found two chemicals in particular, pulegone and benzaldehyde, that could be dangerous to human health when vaped at high levels. “We tested some flavours that show high toxicity,” said Maciej Goniewicz, a leading e-cigarette researcher and associate professor of oncology at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We found some chemicals that raise concerns, particularly when it comes to inhalation.” CBC News independently tested a variety of different brands and flavours of vaping liquids and found two chemicals in particular, pulegone and benzaldehyde, that could be dangerous to human health when vaped at high levels (Craig Chivers/CBC) Pulegone is typically found in menthol vaping products and cigarettes. It’s a suspected carcinogen that was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive in 2018 and has also been found to cause cancer in lab animals.  The tobacco industry has phased out pulegone in cigarettes because of concerns over potential toxicity to smokers.  “This is an additive that has been banned in food products in the U.S.,” Goniewicz said. “We don’t know whether it might also be the case for inhalation with electronic cigarettes, but it definitely raises concern, and we should investigate in more detail.” Potentially harmful flavouring chemicals A spokesperson for Health Canada said it is studying the potential health effects of pulegone in vaping liquids and could take action if it is found to “pose a danger to human health or safety.” Benzaldehyde, which is typically used in cherry flavours of e-cigarette liquids, has been shown to be a potentially toxic respiratory irritant at high doses.  Hooked: How JUUL took over the vaping world “We have no clue what [these chemicals] can do to your lungs,” said Mathieu Morissette, a researcher at the University Institute of Cardiology and Respirology of Quebec and an associate professor at Laval University in Quebec City. “Those flavours were meant to be eaten, not to be inhaled, and basically, that is the main question we have right now: Are they safe to inhale?” Morissette said that from a research perspective, “it’s really a huge puzzle if you want to address the question properly.” Read more stories in this series: ‘We don’t know what will happen with their lungs’ Health Canada says vaping products that contain nicotine are subject to “stringent controls” under the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act and the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, which also contain marketing restrictions.  While the federal h

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