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Determination of the level of PG and VG in e-liquids

Propylene glycol or propane 2,3 diol and vegetable glycerine or glycerol are two molecules of the glycol family. In general, they constitute the main matrix of e-liquids for electronic cigarettes. Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine (PGVG) vaporise easily and serve to convey the flavours and nicotine. Together and with the effect of vaporisation, they form the micro droplets called aerosol. This is a vapour which, visually speaking, resembles smoke. The production of this vapour is essential for a vaper.

Detection method


Volume required


Analysis time

3 working days

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What are the effects of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG) on humans?

The toxicological profile of these two molecules in inhalation is almost zero. However, scientists attribute an irritant character to propylene glycol variable according to individuals. The irritation will be more marked on first exposures to PG. When they are too intensely heated, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine will tend to fragment and degrade into smaller molecules, essentially aldehydes. Aldehydes form part of a molecular family having a potential risk in inhalation.

Why analyse the levels of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine?

Vaping products are considered as chemical products. Therefore, they have to comply with the CLP information requirements (Classification for Labelling and Packaging). This is a European regulation which aims to prevent chemical risks. Thus, the presence of PG and VG in an e-liquid must be given with its exact value on the product’s label. The aim is to provide precise information to the consumer.

The ingésciences laboratory determines the levels of propylene glycol and glycerol in a product for e-liquid manufacturers. On request, we also check the compliance of the labelling and the quality of the finished product. It is essential for it to ensure the absence of this molecule in their e-liquid.

Since 2016, the manufacturers of e-liquids must follow another specific regulation and declare on a European notification platform the composition of all the products containing nicotine (e-liquid and emission), in application of the TPD, the European directive on tobacco products. Thus, all the components of an e-liquid having a concentration greater than 0.1% must be known and quantified. It is necessary then to know the precise concentration of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine present in the finished product in order to make this declaration. This is one of the missions of the OpenSciences laboratory.

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Check the level of PG VG in your products?