Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Five Pawns response to Cloud 9's Diacetyl and Acetyl propionyl tests

Yesterday I wrote about the test results Cloud 9 Vaping published showing incredibly high concentrations of Diacetyl (DA) and Acetyl Propionyl (AP) in Five Pawns' e-juices. Five Pawns have responded to all of this on their blog, and they have issued a Cease and Desist. I recommend reading their response here. The test results published on Cloud 9's blog is no longer available there and have been replaced by the following text: "The information relating to specific products withdrawn from sale as part of our testing/due diligence processes has been removed pending legal advice."

Five Pawns now link to several tests done of their juices and the results are very different from what Cloud 9 published. The tests they've published show very low or non-detectable amounts of DA and the highest PA result is 910. The Cloud 9 tests showed numbers above 2000 for PA. So which tests should we believe? Honestly I don't really know. The Cloud 9 test results seem almost to high to be true, but on the other hand Five Pawns would benefit from a lower number. That being said, I'm left with a feeling that Five Pawns' own tests (which are also done by independent labs) seems more in line with what I'd expect looking at the Vaporshark tests. In any case I think Five Pawns make a valid point when they state the following:
There is currently no standardized or approved methodology for testing e-liquids.  That needs to change.  We want to assure our retailers and customers that Five Pawns is 100% dedicated to working to develop a standard methodology by which all e-liquids can be tested and held accountable.
I also got an interesting comment yesterday saying that the Cloud 9 tests also differs from tests published by Mystic's own tests. Another interresting thing that might indicate that Five Pawns are actually working to reduce the amount diacetyl to a minimum is that their 2014 tests showed detectable and in one case (Perpetual Check) quite high amounts of diacetyl, while the newer tests show none or very low amounts.

For PA, Five Pawns' tests still shows quite high numbers, but Five Pawns are saying that they don't see this as a problem:
Further, we feel that efforts to translate industrial exposure limits to vaping exposure limits are flawed. It is clearly not the same.  If this were true, one would expect a population of individuals becoming sick from vaping, but this is not the case. There are no known publicly documented cases of anyone having respiratory issues related to vaping AP or diacetyl at the levels currently in e-liquids.  Many websites and blogs discuss this exact issue.  We are confident that studies and future data will show inhalation from vaping e-liquids should not be compared to industrial exposure limits.
Well, I'm not an expert on these substances so I don't really know, but I suspect neither are Five Pawns, so I find it kind of strange that they could be so confident. Is it really worth taking the risk? And wouldn't it take quite a while until we would see long term effects of vaping DA and AP? I have to agree with what Dr. Farsalinos said about the matter in an interview:
My suggestion is not to use Diacetyl or Acetyl for any reason. The only reason that you would use them is that it tastes better than the Diacetyl and Acetyl free liquids, aside from this there is no reason for these ingredients to be contained in e-liquid. It isn’t worth the risk. Everyone can decide for themselves, I’m not here to implement or enforce any decisions, it’s a personal decision. We need to educate the users with what we know about Diacetyl and let them decide for themselves.
The way I see it, until more research is done, proving that AP is harmless in e-liquid... or not, we are taking a risk vaping it. The good thing about all this fuzz is that awareness is raised which might lead to more research on the issue being done soon, and we as consumers are able to choose whether or not we are willing to take that risk. Because there is alternatives without DA and AP, some of them already very popular.

I see a lot of people angry at Five Pawns in forums, and in a way I understand it. I don't think Five Pawns is handling this in the right way, threatening to sue, which in my opinion just makes it look like Cloud 9 hit the nail bang on. But on the other hand we don't know all the details here either. We don't know what communication, if any, Five Pawns and Cloud 9 have had prior to the first results getting published. I think publishing such results without talking to Five Pawns first would be wrong as well. I can think of reasons why Cloud 9 would do that actually, seeing how much goodwill Vaporshark earned by publishing the results. But again, we don't know this, so there is no point discussing it.

As I said above, I think Five Pawns has a valid point in that "there is currently no standardized or approved methodology for testing e-liquids", and I really hope this will lead to the industry starting to working on good standards and methods for giving us test-results we can trust. As of now I get the feeling you can send your e-juice to different labs and get very different results back, which means it's difficult to trust any of them (but that doesn't mean that none of them are correct). I'm also hoping that we'll start seeing more research done on the effects of vaping these substances soon. 

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  1. First of all, this is not a criticism of your blog. Just my opinion! :)
    There is one point that Five Pawn made that you didn't address. Shelf life. I'm no expert either, but I do think while e-juice 'mature' it can develop diacetyl. I have no reason to defend Five Pawn, I don't even like their e juice, but I think they couldn't react to this in any other way.
    While vapers react to diacetyl in e-juice with fear and outcry, they should remember that this thing is also in butter, cream, beer and wine among other things.

    Nice work, M.M! :)

  2. Opinions are always welcome. I actually missed that part about shelf life, but I was actually sitting here thinking that maybe steeping time is the reason for the different results.

    I agree that Five Pawns has reason to react, but it could be done in a more decent way without threatening to sue. And eating something and inhaling it isn't quite the same thing :)

  3. Suing, is second nature for Americans. ;)
    I agree, inhaling isn't the same thing. But, you do breath when you eat and drink. ;)
    On the topic of inhaling. I believe that extreme sub ohming and the extreme heat this produce in the coils are a bigger health risk. Again, I'm no expert.

  4. C9 did ask FP to respond, and FP wanted to respond verbally but not in writing.
    If FP test their liquid as often as they suggest, and different tests offer differing results, can we reasonably expect that FP would only publish the best results they've achieved?
    Probably I would suggest.
    Worrying when those tests still show such high levels of AP

  5. Cloud 9 contacted FP in May and FP wouldn't communicate in writing (with what has happened it is clear Cloud 9 were sensible to insist on this). May be if FP had responded and produced their test results this would not have occurred. I'm pretty sure Cloud 9 would have decided not to stock due to the high levels FP's results show but at least they could have had a discussion about it.

  6. This is obviously an important matter near and dear to all of us. I had written about this myself and you touched on some points that I didn't. One thing that concerned me, and I touched on this, Five Pawns states "There is currently no standardized or approved methodology for testing e-liquids." but then in the very next paragraph they state "It is reckless and liable to post test results on products using a non-validated method."

    I like Five Pawns, don't get me wrong. There seems to be a bit of a problem here. It just makes me wonder what is going on in the back end that we, the vapers, don't know about.

    Oh and I got a whole "Big Tobacco" vibe from this comment:
    "It is important to note however, that high levels of both diacetyl and AP are present in cigarettes, yet there has been no link to bronchial obliterates"

  7. Most of Five Pawns products are banned from ECTA (Canada). They took the numbers provided by Five Pawns (not even the insane and maybe good numbers of Cloud9vaping) to make their decision. Those products are really bad for lungs.


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  9. The response came at a time when Five Pawns were in possession of their own findings, while they were fully aware that their juice contained levels in excess of the generally accepted safety figures, and hid them from customers.


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