Potentially toxic chemicals were found in e-cigarette vaper


Those draws have made smoking e-cigarettes and other vaping devices attractive for young people who are turned off by tobacco, as well as for existing smokers looking for a way to keep the habit but ditch the health issues. This is big news considering that almost 15% of 8th, 10th and 12th grade students in public and private schools has used e-cigarettes in the past month.

Significant amounts of lead and other toxic metals leak from some heating coils in e-cigarettes and contaminate aerosols that the user inhales, a new study suggests.

The recently published study in Environmental Health Perspectives investigated the possible contribution of heating coil to metal exposure in e-cigarette users wherein scientists examined 56 e-cigarette sample devices obtained from daily e-cigarette users to identify the transfer of metals from the heating coil to the e-liquid and the generated aerosol. Chronic inhalation of these metals has been linked to lung, liver, immune, cardiovascular and brain damage, as well as cancers.

A new study from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health has found that a significant number of e-cigarette devices generate aerosols with potentially unsafe levels of lead, chromium, manganese and/or nickel.

The source of the lead "remains a mystery", but e-cigarette heating coils typically contain nickel and chromium, among other elements, the researchers pointed out.

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The researchers note that the toxic metals found in aerosols were "often much higher than safe limits". In all seriousness, the study concluded that e-cigarettes might be exposing people to toxic metals and carcinogens, including chromium, lead, and arsenic. The Environmental Protection Agency said that nearly 50 percent of aerosol samples had lead concentrations higher than health-based limits. Precisely how metals get from the coil into the surrounding e-liquid is another mystery.

The Food and Drug Administration hasn't yet regulated e-cigarettes. Most important, the scientists showed that the metal contamination carried over to the aerosols produced by heating the e-liquids. While they found minimal amounts of metals in the refilling dispenser, much larger amounts of toxic metals were observed in the e-liquid exposed to the heating coils in the tanks.

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"We don't know yet whether metals are chemically leaching from the coil or vaporising when it's heated", Ana added. Researchers aren't sure where it came from or why regulators didn't find it sooner.