Mon, May 16, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Tests find formaldehyde in all e-cigarette liquids

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A random inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that all e-cigarette liquids it tested contained formaldehyde and 90.3 percent contained acetaldehyde, leading the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) to say it would work toward regulating e-cigarettes along with tobacco products.

Between 2013 and last year, the FDA examined 2,565 e-cigarette liquids and found that 70 percent contained nicotine, while another random inspection in 2014 of 31 items found that 100 percent contained formaldehyde and 90.3 percent contained acetaldehyde, the HPA said.

“Formaldehyde is classified by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC] as a Group 1 agent — meaning there is enough evidence to conclude that a compound can cause cancer in humans,” HPA Director-General Chiou Shu-ti (邱淑媞) said.

Acetaldehyde is listed as a Group 2A agent — possibly carcinogenic to humans — by the IARC.

HPA Health Education and Tobacco Control Division head Lo Su-ying (羅素英) said the agency’s survey last year showed that the prevalence of e-cigarette use in adults was 0.9 percent, but 4.1 percent among adolescents in senior-high school, junior-high school and vocational school.

Exposure to formaldehyde or acetaldehyde can irritate the eyes and respiratory tract and trigger symptoms including coughing, wheezing, chest pain and bronchitis, while long-term exposure can lead to chronic respiratory disease, Lo said, adding that cases of poisoning in children associated with e-cigarette use have increased in the US, more than poisoning associated with tobacco exposure.

The HPA said a 30ml bottle of e-cigarette liquid can contain about 180mg of nicotine — equivalent to the amount of nicotine contained in 225 cigarettes.

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