Nitrosamines are a chemical compound that occur in a number of consumer products, food, and were found in some e cig brand cartridges in testing conducted by the U.S. FDA in mid-2009. Nitrosamines are considered to be carcinogenic and are produced from nitrites and secondary amines that occur in the form of proteins. A common question that gets asked by the inquisitive vapor smoker or even just the regular tobacco cigarette user, is what danger the potential of nitrosamine presence poses to them when using e cigarette products?
Nitrosamines in Food Products
Nitrosamiens only get produced under certain circumstances such as those found in high temperatures associated with fried foods as well as the conditions found in the human stomach. The Liebermann’s reaction in people is also commonly associated with the production of nitrosamines. Some of the common foodstuffs that have been found to contain nitrosamines include fish, fish byproducts, beer, and meat and cheese products that are preserved with nitrite pickling salt. Since the discovery of the build-up of nitrosamines in meat preserved with these compounds, the U.S. FDA has established limits on the amount of nitrites that can be used with meat products for preservation.
Nitrosamines in Consumer Products
Another place that you find nitrosamines is in tobacco smoke. It can also be found in latex products to include party balloons and condoms, although testing on condom concentration indicates that the nitrosamine presence is not considered to be toxic.
Do Nitrosamines Cause Cancer?
The first analysis completed that indicated nitrosamines can cause cancer in rats was by U.K. Scientist John Barnes and Pete Magee in 1956. In the 1970’s, there was an observed increase in liver cancer found in Norwegian farm animals that had been fed on herring meal that was preserved with sodium nitrate which had undergone a reaction and produced dimethylnitrosamine. Since then, studies have shown that they may support an increased risk of gastric cancer risk.
FDA E Cigarette Studies
The FDA conducted a limited study in late summer, 2009 of two e cigarette brand cartridges and found that there were above acceptable levels of nitrosamines in some of the cartridges. As a result, the FDA issued a warning to all e cigarette users saying that they could not guarantee the safety of electronic cigarettes. Unfortunately, there still does not reside an international or U.S. Standard of testing for nitrosamines or other carcinogenic compounds in e cigarettes, so it is left to you the consumer, to do your due diligence and find reputable e cigarette companies who post their own testing results to see what the quality of product you are “vaping” truly is!
Consumer Products Commonly Found to Contain Nitrosamines
Cured Meats (ie Beef Jerky)
Nonfat Dairy Milk