E-Liquid & Tanks Safety
E-liquids and tanks don’t always mix. You may be confident in handling e-liquid, refilling and cleaning up any spills, but certain liquid-tank combinations are likely to spell disaster. This may be anything from causing a crack to develop in the body to outright melting the outer casing of the tank.
The good news is that only a relatively small proportion of juices are implicated, and the problem only occurs with plastic tanks. It might not be ideal for you financially, but the risk is removed if you spend a little more for a glass tank.
- Only polycarbonate (plastic) tanks are affected, so to remove the risk with specific flavors, invest in a glass one!
- Malic acid, citric acid (both common in fruits) and cinnamon-based liquids are the most common culprits, but there is a master list on the ECF you can use to check specific juices.
- Clean up any spills carefully, remembering that nicotine is a toxin and can be absorbed through the skin. Wipe down affected surfaces, take off and wash any clothes it spills on and put any juice-sodden paper towels in a zip-lock bag before throwing them away.
Polycarbonate plastic is at the root of the issues with certain liquids and tanks. The material holds up pretty well to a dilute acid, but it can’t handle strong acids or bases. This is why most of the problems come from malic acid or citric acid containing juices, often fruit-flavored options like orange or pineapple-based juices. Not only do you lose a tank, you also suffer a juice leak all over your e-cig and whatever surface it was resting on. From the earlier sections on nicotine, you should be well aware that this is a potential hazard, and if it happens when you’ve left your e-cig somewhere you may not even be aware of the spill.
This is why it really is worth getting your hands on a glass tank, or alternatively one made from PETG (a more chemically resistant plastic) or metal. It means you can enjoy e-liquids freely without any risk of a bad reaction with some juice.
In addition, there is some evidence that bisphenol A (commonly referred to as BPA) leaks out of polycarbonate containers for drinks, and the chemical has been linked to cardiovascular disease. It’s used in the manufacture of polycarbonates, so it’s reasonable to assume that polycarbonate (plastic) tanks also leak BPA into your juice. It isn’t a major concern (since you likely use plastic bottles containing it anyway), but still another argument in favor of going with glass or another material for your tanks.
Which E-Liquid Damages Tanks?
There are many e-liquids implicated, but it’s broadly fruit flavors high in malic acid and citric acid, including lemon, lime, banana, mango, grape, grapefruit and pineapple. Here is a list of e-juice flavors that may break your plastic tank.
Additionally, cinnamon-based liquids are often the culprits, which may be due the alkaline nature of cinnamon flavoring. Often, if an e-liquid manufacturer or distributor learns that specific flavors of theirs have cracked plastic tanks, they’ll put a note up on the website so you can avoid the problem.
There is a master list of affected flavors on the ECF, so if you’re in doubt, check to see if your juice (or a similar one, flavor-wise) is listed there. Of course, these are just based on reports, and damage accumulates over time, so not all of these juices are necessarily going to break your tank – it’s just not worth the risk.
Additionally, the list is by no means absolute, so just because it’s not listed doesn’t mean it’s definitely safe. Use the general rules about the affected flavorings and exercise caution if you’re in doubt. There are plenty of flavors, so if you have a polycarbonate tank it’s just better to go for other options.
Conclusion – Get a Glass Tank!
This is an unfortunate issue, but it’s one that can be resolved very simply: get yourself a glass tank and vape away. If you do fall foul of an e-liquid-tank incompatibility, follow the rules established earlier on the safe cleaning of spills and don’t make the same mistake again!