E-cigarette vapors contain toxic chemicals, study finds

E-cigarette vapors contain toxic metals, including lead, that leak from the heating coils, according to a new study.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examined e-cigarette battery-powered devices owned by 56 users, publishing their findings Wednesday in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The aerosols contained potentially unsafe levels of lead, chromium, manganese and/or nickel, the scientists reported. These materials, when inhaled chronically, have been linked to lung, liver, immune, cardiovascular and brain damage and cancers.

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 Food and Drug Administration hasn't yet regulated e-cigarettes.

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



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