There is a family of high-quality food-grade flavoring ingredients called "diketones", which includes diacetyl, acetoin, and acetyl propionyl. These ingredients are used to produce all kinds of buttery, creamy, custardy flavors. Diacetyl, in particular, is used to produce the buttery flavor in buttered popcorn. Back in the late 1990's, workers in a popcorn factory were exposed to very high concentrations of diacetyl. Some of these workers developed a chronic, irreversible form of bronchitis, which since has been referred to as "popcorn lung". It was determined that the condition was caused by the exposure to (inhalation of) diacetyl.
One study, by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, found that many well-known e-liquid manufacturers use high levels of diacetyl, some above the safety limit set by OSHA. But other studies have shown that smoking tobacco results in inhaling as much as 750 times more diacetyl than vaping. In any case, however, even at an extremely low level, there is a chance that diacetyl in e-liquid could represent a health risk. We, therefore, do not use any flavoring ingredients that contain diacetyl in any of our JDL Associates™ e-Liquids.
We do, however, use flavoring ingredients that contain acetoin and/or acetyl propionyl in some of our flavor recipes. It would be nearly impossible to create many custard, cream, or bakery flavors without these butter/custard flavor components, and we have customers who demand these flavors. Unlike diacetyl, in our research we have not found any information or data, either clinical or anecdotal, which directly links acetoin or acetyl propionyl, or any of the other flavoring ingredients that we use, to any kind of health risk.
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