E-cigarettes: Study finds toxic metals including arsenic, lead in vapors

E-cigarettes: Study finds toxic metals including arsenic, lead in vapors

"It's important for the FDA, the e-cigarette companies, and vapers themselves to know that these heating coils, as now made, seem to be leaking toxic metals-which then get into the aerosols that vapers inhale", Ana María Rule, PhD, MHS, an assistant scientist in the Bloomberg School's Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, said in a statement.

E-cigarettes contain a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and then inhaled. The heat generates aerosol, which is a mix of vapors and tiny droplets formed from the e-liquid. It found that toxic metals, including lead, leaked from a significant number of the heating coils of e-cigarette devices and were inhaled by users.

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. 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. "Due to potential toxicity resulting from chronic exposure to metals in e-cigarette aerosols, additional research is needed to more precisely quantify metal exposures resulting from e-cigarette use and their implications for human health, and to support regulatory standards to protect public health".

Half of the aerosol samples had lead concentrations higher than limits set out by the Environmental Protection Agency.

However, the source of the lead and how metals get into the surrounding e-liquid remains a mystery. These metals have been linked to lung cancer and respiratory disease-you know, just like regular cigarettes.

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Users of e-cigarettes may be inhaling levels of unsafe toxic metals, according to a study from Johns Hopkins University of Bloomberg School of Public Health. While the study's authors hypothesize that the metals appear in the e-cig vapor thanks to the metal coils, they do not know how arsenic apparently finds it way into the e-cig refill liquid itself.

The question is whether exposure to those toxic metals, at the level found in normal, everyday e-cigarette use, is risky.

For the new study, Rule and her colleagues recruited 56 daily e-cigarette users from vaping conventions and e-cigarette shops around Baltimore during the fall of 2015. "We've established with this study that there are exposures to these metals, which is the first step, but we need also to determine the actual health effects".

Well, the U.S Food and Drug Administration has all rights to control the usage of e-cigarettes but it is still a big question for the administration as well, that how it can be done. Every e-cigarette in the study was different, so the amounts varied per model. Rule believes the heating coils found in the tanks could somehow be transferring metal into the aerosol.

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