A new study revealed that e-cigarette smoke contains harmful levels of toxic metals like lead, chromium, and nickel. Researchers found that in most cases the heating coils of the electronic devices emit toxic levels of lead and other metals which can boost the risk of cancer and organ damage in users.
According to new research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health which involved 56 e-cigarette users, e-cigarette smoke contains harmful levels of chromium, lead, manganese, and nickel.
Exposure to these metals has been often associated with a plethora of negative health outcomes like cancer and damage to the immune system, lungs, liver, brain, and heart.
Lead author Ana María Rule believes that the FDA, companies, and e-cigarette users should be aware of the risks. In their current form, heating coils emit dangerous levels of toxic metals which reach the vapors that are being inhaled by users.
E-liquids in the electronic devices are heated via a metal coil which turns them into vapor. Many former smokers have switched to e-cigs because they believe that the devices are safer than traditional tobacco products.
Findings Question E-Cigarettes’ Safety
Many parents share this mindset, so the electronic devices are being used by middle schoolers as well. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found last year that 15 percent of 8h-, 10th-, and 11th-graders are using e-cigarettes.
Rule’s team found that high levels of toxic metals are present in the e-liquids as well. The latest study focused on e-cigarette users in Maryland. In the study, researchers analyzed e-cigarette smoke looking for 15 toxic compounds.
Small traces of toxic metals were found in the liquids and dispensers, while the bulk was emitted by the heating coils. Researchers also found elevated levels of toxic metals in the vapor. Rule’s team warned that the amount of metals in some devices was much higher than safe limits.
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