While vapes might be marketed as being “just water vapor,” the truth might make you rethink exactly what you’re breathing in
Acetaldehyde, benzene, formaldehyde….it sounds more like your chemistry class than what you’d expect to find in a Juul pod. While fruity flavors such as mango and strawberry can mask the chemical taste, once you start to understand all of the heavy metals in a cloud of vape smoke, you’ll begin to see those clouds as something no one would willingly breathe in.
Formaldehyde is probably the most well-known of these chemicals, being the go-to chemical used for embalming dead bodies for many years. While we don’t use formaldehyde as frequently as we used to in preservation of the dead, it is used plenty in manufacturing wood-based products such as cabinets, particleboard, and furniture. But what works great at binding things together isn’t so good for your lungs, which need to expand and contract to pump air throughout your body. Heating up the chemicals in a vape releases formaldehyde into the lungs which has shown to increase the risk of leukemia and other cancers.
Acetaldehyde is a Class 1 toxin according to the World Health Organization, meaning that it is a possible carcinogen. Acetaldehyde is caused by the heating of the vape juice itself, breaking down other chemicals and forming this cancer-causing vapor. While it is colorless and odorless, its effects can easily be seen. Both heart disease and lung disease have been linked to exposure to acetaldehyde.
Benzene is a natural component in crude oil and is found mostly in car exhaust and… tobacco cigarettes. Thought you could avoid all of the gross chemicals found in traditional cigarettes? Think again! Benzene concentration in vapes has been found to be as high as 5,000 micrograms per cubic meter. Benzene levels in urban air with all of the car exhaust? Only 1 microgram per cubic meter. Gross!
There’s plenty of chemicals that we would never breathe in if we encountered them in the wild, so what makes vaping so different? Take a deep breath and realize that there’s much more than just “juice” in that little pod…