How dangerous is un-combusted butane?

eastern11713

New Member
I wanted to talk about what I believe is misinformation on this topic. I have read a ton of posts relating to how butane is "not toxic" and perfectly safe. I have seen many posts created by people asking if butane lighters pose a health risk. The response to all of these posts is "when butane is combusted, the reaction leaves behind only water and carbon dioxide." This is true, but what about when the butane gasses aren't ignited?


I think it is important to note that it is almost impossible to avoid inhaling the un-combusted form of butane. When you fill your torch, you almost always get a whiff of gas, and also when you use your lighter, but it fails to ignite, leaving you with a hissing sound. I think this is incredibly dangerous. There is a study that shows butane inhalation can cause immediate hear attacks, and death. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5787638/) Here is an article about how someone died due to just taking one breath of the gas. (http://i.stuff.co.nz/editors-picks/7583927/One-sniff-of-butane-can-be-fatal-inquest-told) There are plenty of similar studies and articles like that on google.


So, just how dangerous is the use of butane lighters? is it anything to be concerned about? I think the main hazard comes from refilling your butane lighter, where the gas literally sprays into the air right in front of you. Am I missing something?

This video shows what I am describing https://youtu.be/gi4b09WtBL0?t=48

Thanks for any input
 

Planck

believes in Dog
Nothing is not toxic and perfectly safe. Nothing not water, not Momma's milk, not oxygen. Clearly some things are more toxic than others. Exposure or dosage is always the key factor.

The cases you cite are all huffers, Huffing anything huffers would huff is a well established path to death. FWIW OSAH set the permissible limit for butane exposure over a working lifetime at 800 ppm. For contrast hydrogen sulphide is 10 ppm.

There is also an explosion risk. :brow: The most dangerous thing most folks do is use cars so don't fill your lighter while driving and you should be ok.:2c:
 

sunyata

IG: sunyata.woods
Accessory Maker
I love butane vapes, but I get that there's concern. What I do is that I ignite the flame a few sec and make sure it doesn't "stutter" before I place it at the intake, and also keep it ignited when removing it from the intake when I finish the hit and only then turn it off. I had it a few times where the flame wasn't solid enough and extinguished mid-hit, leaving me with a shitty butane taste tainting my hit. Glad to report I haven't died from it, but hence my little ritual making sure only combusted butane gets near the intake.
 

Abysmal Vapor

Saturnine in my mind
I would advise you not to breath the jet stream of any torch. I've done it and it is not worth it, there are plenty of vaporizers that do not require that and work great !

Something of note about the way butane is manufactured:

Almost all the commercial butane produced is made in one of two factories in South Korea... It's a byproduct of the petroleum industry, and the filtering process is as follows:

The butane is passed through adsorptive filter media - that is, the media absorbs the contaminants, but allows the butane to pass. Each filter only targets one type of contaminant - anything else present passes through. It's not a distillation in any sense of the term - distillation filters heavier molecules, while adsorptive filtration takes out molecules physically smaller than the target.

What that means is that pretty much all butane has a bunch of paraffin waxes left over, floating around inside it. Even Vector, which is the best tasting for BHO purposes, can leave a huge amount of residue when you evaporate an entire bottle, depending on the batch (I can attest to that personally). Sometimes it's a crap shoot, but generally you're better off with the more expensive brands of butane... other than that, well... the rest is up to luck!
 
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howie105

Well-Known Member
How much do I worry about un-combusted butane from my torch while I am heating a hit- 0%. Of course, I could be wrong but until I see some figures on the amount of un-combusted butane that your average vape user is sucking down it's not on my significant threat list.
 

vapirtoo

Well-Known Member
While this is concerning, I just read that the steam from the microwave popcorn bag
contains toxins which can cause scarring in the lungs leading to permanent COPD!
I wonder who would be trying to inhale that super hot steam as they open the bag.
Just another thing to put on our radar. Old fashioned popping methods are fine.
 

invertedisdead

Weapons of VAS Destruction
I’m really not in love with the idea of inhaling the exhaust, but I have to say I’ve gotten some really outstanding flavor from a few DIY glass versions of these types of vapes. If the vapor was more harsh and irritating to me, I’d probably be more concerned.
Though the vapor does feel “hot” and I tend to notice increased mucus with these styles, which could be a symptom my body doesn’t love it.


Regarding the quote above from Gnome Vaporizers “It's not a distillation in any sense of the term - distillation filters heavier molecules, while adsorptive filtration takes out molecules physically smaller than the target.”

Butane comes from fractional distillation of petroleum, so the heavier molecules have already been removed as that’s how you get gasoline, kerosene, diesel, etc.

The issue with the BHO comparison is it hasn’t undergone combustion or anything close to it in that example so it’s not the same basis for comparison. What you’d need to do is analyze the airstream composition downstream from a jet lighter, and preferably capture and condense any vapors to analyze any “residues.”

It is true that BHO processors have been known to further distill butane to remove impurities, but BHO is also purged at like 100F under vacuum; in a torch lighter any contaminants would first go through a 2000F+ incinerator so that sets the stage for the potential of a different outcome.

So I don’t know if it’s safe or not. Honestly the lighter itself may be more questionable than the exhaust gases. The nozzles are mostly all brass aren’t they? I know the vape community loves brass! :spliff:
 

Abysmal Vapor

Saturnine in my mind
I’m really not in love with the idea of inhaling the exhaust, but I have to say I’ve gotten some really outstanding flavor from a few DIY glass versions of these types of vapes. If the vapor was more harsh and irritating to me, I’d probably be more concerned.
Though the vapor does feel “hot” and I tend to notice increased mucus with these styles, which could be a symptom my body doesn’t love it.


Regarding the quote above from Gnome Vaporizers “It's not a distillation in any sense of the term - distillation filters heavier molecules, while adsorptive filtration takes out molecules physically smaller than the target.”

Butane comes from fractional distillation of petroleum, so the heavier molecules have already been removed as that’s how you get gasoline, kerosene, diesel, etc.

The issue with the BHO comparison is it hasn’t undergone combustion or anything close to it in that example so it’s not the same basis for comparison. What you’d need to do is analyze the airstream composition downstream from a jet lighter, and preferably capture and condense any vapors to analyze any “residues.”

It is true that BHO processors have been known to further distill butane to remove impurities, but BHO is also purged at like 100F under vacuum; in a torch lighter any contaminants would first go through a 2000F+ incinerator so that sets the stage for the potential of a different outcome.

So I don’t know if it’s safe or not. Honestly the lighter itself may be more questionable than the exhaust gases. The nozzles are mostly all brass aren’t they? I know the vape community loves brass! :spliff:
I have discussed torch anatomy at different threads,but no one seem to be really concerned with it rather than me , the plastic tanks,hoses,gaskets (puke)

[Just think about the butane travel path. It goes trough a brass duse into a plastic tank,then travels trough another duse into a plastic/silicon tubing and shoots trough brass torch nozzle surrounded by alloyed metal.Some torches have ceramic shields which is good but still have the wire from the piezo with its insulation in the airpath. So I am not saying those things will get you cancer but lead is often added to brass for ease of machining and there are just too many sources of smell in a torch alone ,so even with the purest butane (which will still have grease on the walls of the can) you can get impure taste.
I would be totally interested in seeing a medical quality torch with Steel/Titanium nozzle and fillign mechanism,glass tank,ceramic shielding... etc..
 

vapirtoo

Well-Known Member
Hey folks just have to say thanks for the concern and info trying
to keep us safe.
I mean we all fucked combustion for many reasons, health being the main one,
so lets not get fucked by vaping with questionable techniques.
Yes, we are the lab rats in the front of this experiment, but we can be safer
and more informed lab rats if we keep sharing info.
Hey Abysmal, I would be totally interested in a solid gold Supreme SV3!
 

hoptimum

Well-Known Member
I think it's a legitimate concern. I'm just not sure how much. I look forward to learning more
 
hoptimum,
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Planck

believes in Dog
While this is concerning, I just read that the steam from the microwave popcorn bag
contains toxins which can cause scarring in the lungs leading to permanent COPD!
I wonder who would be trying to inhale that super hot steam as they open the bag.
Just another thing to put on our radar. Old fashioned popping methods are fine.

The chemical is diacetyl and the disease is commonly called popcorn lung.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obliterative_bronchiolitis#Inhalants said:
Diacetyl is a chemical used to produce the artificial butter flavoring[25] in many foods such as candy and microwave popcorn and occurring naturally in wines. This first came to public attention when eight former employees of the Gilster-Mary Lee popcorn plant in Jasper, Missouri developed obliterative bronchiolitis. Due to this event, obliterative bronchiolitis began to be referred to in the popular media as "popcorn lung" or "popcorn workers lung".[26][27][28][29] It is also referred to as "flavorings-related lung disease".[30]
One might argue that diacetyl not an artificial favoring since it exists in nature, wine for example. FWIW the FDA says It's GRAS for ingestion vs inhalation.
 

west-elec

Well-Known Member
So no more vaping popcorn when you run out of weed, for that burnt popcorn taste. We always said that taste was not a good thing.
I know nothing but my 2 cents: I don't store drinking water in plastic because you can taste 'it'. Whatever 'it' is it has a taste and that tells me something is in the water that wasn't there before. When I hit a stickybrick there is a taste that isn't there with other heaters, so 'something' is affecting flavour and therefore purity.
The elev8r gives you hard torch hits minus torch exhaust fumes and you can taste the difference. Quoting from Seinfeld 'What do you know about paba?, I know enough to steer clear of it." Why risk it?
 

invertedisdead

Weapons of VAS Destruction
The sticky brick has a lot of wood flavor to me. At first I thought it was the butane but now i think it's because you can barely clean them, so the porous wood retains a lot of its own musk. I notice pretty large flavor differences between my all glass DIY and my brick with the same source of heat input.
 

Thick Vape

Solar Dabs
Official SDS of butane

"...
  1. 10.6 Hazardous decomposition products
    Hazardous decomposition products formed under fire conditions. - Carbon oxides Other decomposition products - No data available
    In the event of fire: see section 5...

...
11.something
Additional Information
RTECS: EJ4200000
Central nervous system depression, giddiness, Shortness of breath, narcosis, Dermal contact with rapidly evaporating liquid could result in freezing of the tissues or frostbite., Exposure can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in extremities., Cyanosis, Pulmonary edema. Effects may be delayed., Abdominal pain, Nausea, Vomiting, To the best of our knowledge, the chemical, physical, and toxicological properties have not been thoroughly investigated.
Stomach - Irregularities - Based on Human Evidence Stomach - Irregularities - Based on Human Evidence..."
 
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QF1994

Well-Known Member
Setting aside the health aspect for a moment: I definitely taste something when I use the vapor genie. And it's off-putting to say the least.

What butane vapes are there besides the Dynavap that use indirect heat? Elev8r? Vapman if/when the new owners get things moving again?
 
QF1994,

endof3d

WWG1 WGA
Setting aside the health aspect for a moment: I definitely taste something when I use the vapor genie. And it's off-putting to say the least.

What butane vapes are there besides the Dynavap that use indirect heat? Elev8r? Vapman if/when the new owners get things moving again?

Vaponic, Lotus, Dreamwood Roasty
 

purepotstill

Well-Known Member
Yeah, don't think you can really inhale butane with a Dynavap (or Elev8r I think, but never had one). Sticky Bricks are another stuff because the flame directly is in the air path.
 
purepotstill,
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