As this was and is a subject that comes up often I thought I would clarify my own position on this issue and write up the precise reasons why I argue against it as a receptacle material for e-liquid to consumers. Anyone is of course free to disagree and follow on with their own perspective and I welcome it, debate is healthy and without it, we cannot expand knowledge and arrive at any degree of mutual agreement.
So my position and opinion on this as everyone who knows me is aware, is that LDPE is a bad choice for packaging of e-liquid. My reason for this is not about health, not about ease of use, it is about longevity of the product in said packaging. All perishable product is regulated both in how it is packaged (material) and conditions under which it is stored in order to meet a projected sell by and use by date. We all vape differently, the time it takes for one person to get through a bottle of juice of any size compared to another can be a world of difference on a time scale not to mention the various ways in which juice is sold, shelf life due to popularity and whims of the consumer can range dramatically.
I believe in and advocate for creating a standard for production of and storage of e-liquid. My reasons for this are numerous of course but at its core is the simple argument that if we are to claim we are a consumer product then we must produce our product and sell it like it was one which by and large, we do not do, to our own embarrassment and potential to be over regulated because of. We all know that juice has optimum storage conditions for longevity yet many vendors do not store this perishable product that way. Consumers are often sold juice that is over steeped and or has a dramatically shortened life span because of how it has been packaged or stored.
LDPE can be a contributing factor here since it is not very good for long term storage and leaches into liquid over time. Is this “leaching” bad for health? I’ve no idea, it has been argued that it isn’t based on its listing here for example however said classification is not based on storage of our finished product nor is the resulting classification based on a consumer heating and inhaling the contents stored in it so the argument on toxicity remains an unknown like so many parts of our habit. That being said, what we have as a community user base and industry seen over the past 5+ years of production and consumption of e-liquid is this, e-liquid stored in LDPE vs PET or Glass goes darker and ceases being transparent far faster in LDPE than it does in the others, flavor changes in a way that is not merely a steeping/deepening of flavor and in a way that most agree is not pleasant when compared storage in PET/Glass. Due to this, the majority of manufacturers no longer use it so when I see someone still is, I encourage them and users of the product to encourage said manufacturer to switch to PET or Glass.
While some may disagree with this (which is fine), my advocating for this is not based upon my vape or their vape. How we as consumers use said product once we have it in our possession is irrelevant, that is our personal choice. We have the right and freedom to dispense it into whatever material receptacle we like once we have purchased it however, how it is sold to us, how it is packaged and labelled does matter as a consumer product. E-liquid needs to have a standard in order to have a projected shelf life and advisable use by date. Again, all perishable products have this and we should be no different in that respect. Said shelf life and use by date is based upon how the product ingredients behave under storage conditions and packaging materials. This makes LDPE an inappropriate material choice in my opinion.
As was discussed during a recent live show, fast consumption of said e-liquid packaged in LDPE when made fresh over rules any worry that some have over this packaging choice and I do not disagree with that. I do not worry for that individual’s health from vaping said juice (certainly compared to smoking lol) and doing so as fast as some people do vape their liquid but this doesn’t change the argument in any way when it comes to a standard for packaging e-liquid.
I don’t believe juice should be made by the bottle either as it introduces too high an occurrence of inaccuracies in mixing resulting in incorrect nicotine content, flavor percentages and PG/VG ratios. I advocate for and believe that e-liquid should be batch made with batch and lot numbers, that it should be tested for correct nicotine levels and that vendors should test their flavor combos in finished product prior to releasing/marketing new juices. By doing these things, if a product/batch has a problem, it can be identified, tracked, recalled and disposed of if needed. This is also done for the very real issue of liability to manufacturer, something that too much of our industry does not produce their product in awareness or acknowledgement of. These are products we inhale and hold up to our faces. Standards, safety and liability are very real issues that must be taken seriously. Again, this is a standard for consumer products and we very much wish and advocate that we should be regulated as such but we cannot do that if we don’t produce to this same standard.
Is there a way to use LDPE for e-liquid production and sale that would work as a consumer product? Possibly yes. Testing for said life span under various conditions in order to determine break down times and come up with advisable storage conditions and therefore shelf life and advisable use by date but this would be an awful lot of work and wasted in my opinion when we already have two other options proven better for longevity.
Why have a receptacle option that gives a dramatically shorter life span when the consumer is free to dispense said product to whatever they like for their convenience once they buy it?
Do we not all want the product we buy to have the longer potential life span so we are not forced to have to use it faster or waste it if we don’t?
Should all e-liquid have the same storage conditions, shelf life and advisable use by date as a product or be tested so that it is labelled with an accurate advisory based upon contents, packing material and storage conditions?
These questions are not about risks of potential poisoning through use of overstepped or “spoiled” in the traditional sense product. They are more about customer satisfaction of use of said product as it is intended by the manufacturer. E-liquid does not last forever when it comes to flavors tasting of anything and nicotine oxidises over time, eventually becoming inert so packaging materials, shelf life/storage conditions by vendors and consumers are a reality. Once flavor no longer carries and the nicotine is inert, what you have is a bottle of nasty looking lube.
As I have said many times, this is not about my vape or your vape, it is about our product meeting the standards of a consumer one. About our product being marketable and saleable to the mass market as others are. I hope for vaping and our products to have the ability to compete with directly and openly alongside and against combustable tobacco however we stand zero chance of this ever happening if we do not revolutionise and produce our products better than we have done. We have a responsibility as consumers of this product now to demand these things of our industry as it does not exist without us and what we buy we condone the practice and manufacturing standards of. The future of our industry and potential over regulation of it due to not being produced to a standard that makes sense and is that of a consumer product, rests upon us.
Vote with you wallets.
...My reason for this is not about health, not about ease of use, it is about longevity of the product in said packaging.....
...LDPE can be a contributing factor here since it is not very good for long term storage and leaches into liquid over time. Is this “leaching” bad for health? I’ve no idea....
Vote with you wallets.
Part of our everyday activity as vapers should include taking precautions to limit our exposure. To what you might say? Unknown variables. It does not mean we are going to get rid of all the unknowns, but we can address a few. People can argue all they want as to this subject being a non-issue. I contest that because it is unknown, and because we can eliminate the unknown all together, the choice to not use said material becomes a responsibility of all manufacturers of e-liquid.
Sometimes, no one gives a shit until they get smacked in the face with new rules or regulations. Being proactive is a responsibility of all in the vaping community. A proactive response to production/packaging requirements eliminates the alphabet agencies from coming in with scrutinization before they regulate. It is coming, and to not clean up processes of unknown impact before someone else asks the question is irresponsible and narrow sighted. Fixing POTENTIAL problems before they are put under a microscope is a smart move, and one all should be advocating for with every e-liquid manufacturer and distributor.
Voting with my wallet and voice
Last update on December 22, 2:20 pm by Cuda.
Nixie Nocturne
I will only EVER buy ejuice that's been packaged in glass for the vast majority of its life. Most of my liquid groceries/oils/etc. I always buy in glass if it's an option. I was genuinely surprised when I heard that a lot of people vape with plastic tanks! All my friends use Pyrex/glass tanks... Then again I'm used to living in hippie areas where a lot of other people get the idea of glass being inert.
I was born a female, and I have female parts, so I am definitely very aware of the harmful effects of chemicals leached from plastic. My body already has some pretty unusual things going on in it, my opinion is that it's better to try and reduce troublesome chemicals wherever possible, and switching to glass bottles is super-simple. Also, think of all the wildlife you're saving from being exposed to the plastic!
Besides, I just love having a collection of glass bottles for sterilizing and re-using! I've never had any of my essential oils bottles break, and I cart those EVERYWHERE. Not to mention, the dark glass bottle provide much better protection from UV rays - I picked up some spare glass bottles with my Virgin Vapor order so my bf could switch over to glass (which he also prefers).
They also just look wicked cool! I'm into the Steampunk thing, and I am literally obsessed with glass bottles. I have antique glass bottles ALL OVER my house, because they are surprisingly easy to collect where I live.
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PET is a plastic but does not leach, allows safe and easier portability than glass, has nipple output for dripping and is highly recyclable. Glass for liquid is fragile, a pain to ship, not as pocket friendly, harder to source with child protective caps and nipples, they come with either pipette style droppers or wait forever gravity fed eye droppers.
That being said, our options are that, PET or glass, for longevity of product life, safety and storage of e-liquid if we are to be consumer product imo.
Nixie Nocturne
Ah yes, I keep forgetting the child-safe cap issue! It sure is a pain to ship. I haven't kept bottles of liquid in my pocket in ages, since about the 3rd time I gave myself naptha-burn from my Zippo :P I know I'm a klutz, so I cart everything around in a bag now.
I guess I'm also just so used to waiting forever for liquids to drop out of a glass bottle! I do notice that the plastic bottles drip juice faster than the glass.
PET is a decent plastic, as far as plastics go! It is one of the two that I use sparingly, Usually I use polypropylene though. I wonder how PP would stand up as an ejuice container? I know it's often touted as one of the more inert plastics.
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I don't believe any e-liquid manufacturers use PP for bottling. LDPE is a cloudy squeezable plastic that over time will leach into liquid and shouldn't be re-used by the user (refilling for example). The case for PP being used for anything in vaping came about through the carotmizer tanks of old. Manufacturers started out by using polycarbonate which reacts to a lot of flavoring we use, cracking either almost instantly or over time and erodes over a longer time in reaction to pretty much all e-liquid. It's a material that really shouldn't be used at all for what we're doing. PP was an alternative used by some china companies rather than glass due to glass being more expensive at first and also so fragile. PP stands up to most liquid flavorings but there are a couple of juice makers out there who make stuff that will not sit comfortably in anything other than PET or glass (though I would submit that these juices probably shouldn't be vaped either :p). While glass is now ubiquitous across most tank systems over a certain price point, I'd still personally like to see more use of PET for the same reasons of it being less fragile than glass and it won't shatter if a tank is dropped. Saying that, there are some great tanks out there that are very well made with screen covers to prevent breakage and work great.
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