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. Chronic exposure to such metals by inhalation has been linked to ailments and diseases ranging from cancer to lung and heart problems.
In the study, scientists recruited 56 daily e-cigarette smokers from vape shops and vaping conventions around Baltimore.
A new recently published study on the Environmental Health Perspectives portal reveals that the electronic cigarettes are not totally free of risks and suggests that the very act of vaporizing can expose people to unsafe levels of toxic metals such as lead and arsenic. Most importantly, the scientists showed that the metal contamination carried over to the aerosols produced by heating the e-liquids.
Consistent with prior studies, they found minimal amounts of metals in the e-liquids within refilling dispensers, but much larger amounts of some metals in the e-liquids that had been exposed to the heating coils within e-cigarette tanks.
The study's authors hope that their findings will prompt the FDA to regulate e-cigs for the presence of these toxic chemicals, as evidence mounts that vaping is not a risk-free endeavor.
The study also found that nearly 50% of aerosol samples had higher lead concentrations than those defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In the study, published online in Environmental Health Perspectives on February 21, the scientists examined e-cigarette devices owned by a sample of 56 users. They were specifically interested in whether the metal coil that vape pens use to heat the liquid in order to turn it into vapor was leeching or generating toxic metals.
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A new study out of Johns Hopkins says there may be toxic levels of metals including lead that could be leaking from e-cigarettes.
The levels of metals in the dispensers - where the e-liquid is kept before it is heated - were nominal and of little concern.
The median lead concentration in the aerosols was more than 25 times greater than the median in the refill dispensers.
Many recent studies have questioned the safety of electronic cigarettes.
Almost half of the e-cigarettes were producing vapor with lead concentrations over the maximums considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 'The actual levels of these metals varied greatly from sample to sample, and often were much higher than safe limits'.
E-cigarette heating coils are normally made of nickel, chromium and a few other elements. Subsequently, the study went further to analyze the vapor that users inhale in their lungs, which is generated by a metal coil that heats the liquid.
The update about the harmful toxic metal in these e-cigarettes can now be a reason for FDA to work on the usage. During the study, a highly toxic metal is also found in the e-liquid tank, e-refill and in the aerosol samples as well.