Study: Potentially Toxic Level of Metals Found in E-Cigarettes
A New study published last Thursday in Environmental Health Perspectives that can leak toxic levels of certain metals from the e-cigarettes heating elements, allowing users to inhale the metals every time they use the device.
The study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, looked at a small number of devices and found a significant number of spray cans produced with potentially dangerous levels of lead, chromium, manganese, and nickel. Repeated exposure to such metals can lead to lung, liver, immune, cardiovascular and brain damage, and even cancer, according to a press release for the study.
Almost half of the samples had lead concentrations that were higher than the health limits set by the EPA. The researchers also discovered significant levels of arsenic, a highly toxic, metallic element, in the tank for replenishing e-liquid and e-liquid and the aerosol samples.
In an ordinary e-cigarette, an electric current is produced by a battery and passes through a metal spiral to heat nicotine-based e-liquids to create an aerosol. The use of e-cigarettes, or vapen, has become a popular alternative among traditional cigarette smokers because it delivers the nicotine picks they want without the extreme health risks of smoking. Teenagers and high school students have also picked up the habit.
In a survey conducted in December 2017, almost 7 percent of the eighth grade, 13 percent of the 10th graders and nearly 17 percent of the high school students stopped the past month.
The US Food and Drug Administration has the power to regulate e-cigarettes, but is still investigating how. Researchers are encouraging results from studies showing that the harmful levels of toxic metals in e-cigarettes help the FDA to make rules for controlling the devices.
“It is important for the FDA, the manufacturers of e-cigarettes and vapers themselves to know that these heating coils, as they are currently being made, seem to leak into toxic metals, which then invade the aerosols that breathe vapers,” said senior research agency Ana María Rule, assistant scientist at the Environmental Health and Engineering department at the Bloomberg School.