Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette 'vapors'

Getty Images

Getty Images

Ana Maria Rule, who is an assistant scientist in the Bloomberg School's Department of Environmental Health and Engineering and also the senior author of the study says,"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".

Long haul exposure to lead, chromium, manganese and nickel can cause damage to the lungs, liver, heart, brain and immune system - and cancer. The mechanism of e-cigarettes works by the presence of such metals that lets the electric current to pass through which then heat up the nicotine-based e-liquid and creates aerosol. They first tested the e-liquid in the dispenser for 15 common metals. In all seriousness, the study concluded that e-cigarettes might be exposing people to toxic metals and carcinogens, including chromium, lead, and arsenic.

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

Although minimal levels of metals were found in the e-liquids within refilling dispensers, the metal contamination transferred to aerosols produced by heating the e-liquids.

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Lead author Ana María Rule at the Bloomberg School's Department of Environmental Health and Engineering said, 'It's important for 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. During the study, a highly toxic metal is also found in the e-liquid tank, e-refill and in the aerosol samples as well. Vaping-inhaling this aerosol as if it were cigarette smoke-is popular especially among teens, young adults, and former smokers. Today the word on the e-streets is that E-Cigarette Vapor Found To Have Potentially Toxic Levels Of Lead & More. How the arsenic got into these e-liquids is yet another mystery-and another potential focus for regulators. And several studies have shown that vaping is far healthier than smoking.

In an earlier study of users, researchers found nickel and chromium level in urine and saliva were high, meaning they were exposed to the materials from the aerosol.

The next step, Rule said in a release from Johns Hopkins, is to get to the bottom of whether these metals are harmful or not - and to present that data to regulators so they can make informed decisions.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health tested the liquids used in e-cigarettes both before and after vaping as well as the aerosols users inhale, according to Forbes.

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