On VaporGenie Safety

VaporGenie's ceramic flame filterWhile writing my VaporGenie review I came across a tarnishing message board post which made some disturbing claims, among other things:

seriously though i talked with the manufacture of the filter they use on the vaporgenie, its made out of silicon carbide, and he said that it releases known cancer causing carcigons.
He said they had a material that would work much better, and was safe and completely inert and did would not off gas, he was going to hook me up with a sample but they only do runs of it when someone orders it, and there was a pretty big minimum order.

It looked like someone trying to hurt VG sales, the poster couldn’t even spell “carcinogens”. Nonetheless, I had to get answers. Dan, the inventor of the VaporGenie was nice enough to shoot down the libel and refute some fallacious statements.

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Hi,

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to this stuff.

I assume you are talking about this, primarily:

A steep dose-response relationship for tumors was reported after application of 0.05 to 25 mg of whiskers of SiC in 1991 in a chronic intraperitoneal injection study in rats. In contrast, doses of 250 and 1000 mg of granular SiC did not cause tumors. The whiskers contained 107,000,000 fibers longer… Continued (3rd post down)

VaporGenie’s response:

The VaporGenie filter is made of monolithic silicon carbide that absolutely does not produce particles. “Monolithic” means that it is a single piece of continuous silicon carbide, not a collection of sintered-together particles. It is monolithic because it is made by chemical vapor deposition, which deposits continuous crystals of SiC. The SiC is semiconductor-grade, which means it is 99.999% pure. Particles would indeed be a concern with sintered materials, since particles can break off from sintered materials. We did not use sintered materials for this reason.

With the VaporGenie filter, pieces can break off of the filter if its crushed or something, but these pieces will be much larger than the micron-size dust particles typically associated with lung damage from other kinds of particles. Pieces broken off the filter would not be whisker-shaped and would be visible to the eye, most likely. Whiskers are dangerous, whereas particles are not. It is common for whiskers to be dangerous and particles to be relatively safer.

The VaporGenie filter weighs about 500mg and does not lose material after months/years of use.

“Intraperitoneal” means inside the abdominal cavity. They injected SiC whiskers into the abdominal cavity of rats. I dont think this is very relevant to inhalation.

I believe that inhaled SiC particles are likely not very dangerous unless you are inhaling a lot of dust. The VaporGenie filter does not produce dust.

The VaporGenie filter is completely inert under the conditions in the pipe. The SiC does not react chemically, outgas or release anything.

So, in my view the VaporGenie filter is absolutely not hazardous. I would be more concerned about tars etc. coming from the vaped herb.

More Answers

I like the concept of the VaporGenie immensely, but I’ll take no chances with potentially carcinogenic stuff. I figure I get enough just from the air and preservatives that I’m exposed to that any tiny bit could hoist me over some threshold.

The VaporGenie filter is completely inert and doesnt release anything-no particles, gases chemicals etc. Using the VaporGenie will expose the user to far less carcinogens than smoking. The VaporGenie isnt perfectly clean, of course. I dont think any form of vaporization can be. But its a vast improvement over smoking.

I heard using a torch lighter with the vaporgenie burns out the filter too fast its only designed for a bic lighter so beware!

This is not true. Torch lighters are fine.

Ideally that would be true, but it never burns completely. I do use a torch lighter and it seems to work pretty well, but you can still taste some butane when you do a dry run. Not that I’m really worried; I doubt butane is as bad as all the stuff in smoke.

I agree. Lighter exhaust is cleanest (and quite clean) when the flame is undisturbed, and does not touch solid surfaces. So keep the flame away from the metal parts and away from the ceramic filter.

Thank you for the opportunity to dispel myths and provide feedback. I wish people would just ask us questions or check out our website instead of posting nonsense like this.

cheers

dan
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Thanks for taking the time to reply, Dan. It looks like VaporGenie owners can vaporize in peace.

2 Comments

  1. Admiral Shellington
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Vaporgenie is a genuinely high quality, high functioning product. Dan has clearly made an effort to provide something worth purchasing, and my friends and I all love our Vaporgenies. thanks for everything, Dan!

  2. Jeffrey
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Hello, I recently purchased a Vapor-genie and not that I am worried a whole lot but I just want to know if the vapor-genie, if used correctly, is harmful or not?

    And I plan to use it regularly as my primary “smoking” piece if that changes anything or not

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