Study Finds Toxic Metals in E-Cigarette Vapors

First Vaping Death Reported by U.S. Health Officials

A recent study of e-cigarettes conducted by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed the presence of significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, in e-cigarette heating coils and aerosols that are inhaled by users. The study, which was published in the Feb. 21 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at e-cigarette devices owned by 56 users. They found that a number of these devices emitted aerosols with unsafe levels of lead, chromium, manganese and nickel. Chronic inhalation of these metals has been linked to lung, liver, immune, cardiovascular and brain damage as well as cancers.

E-Cigarettes Emit Harmful Toxins

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet come up with a way to regulate e-cigarettes although it has the authority to do so. The finding that e-cigs expose users to harmful levels of toxic metals could determine how the FDA chooses to regulate these devices in the future. The study’s authors say it is crucial for not just the FDA, but the e-cigarette manufacturers and users of the devices to know that these heating coils seem to be leaking toxins that get into the aerosols that are inhaled.

E-cigarettes use a battery-supplied electric current that passes through a metal coil to head liquids. This creates and aerosol, which is a mix of vaporized e-liquids and tiny droplets. Vaping is extremely popular among adolescents and young adults. The National Institute of Drug Abuse did a survey last year and found that one in six students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades had used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days.

E-cigarettes are sold to youth and adults with the marketing line that it’ll give them that nicotine hit they crave, and the look and feel of smoking a cigarette, without smoking’s health risks. But study after study is revealing that vaping is not risk-free and that the liquids sold in flavors such as bubble gum and cherry specifically to attract young people, contain harmful toxins.

Holding Manufacturers Accountable

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes have been touting these products as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, which have been linked to a host of health hazards including heart and lung disease. Makers of e-cigarettes have been able to get away with such advertising because no one really knew what was in those liquids or how the devices affected the vapors. Now, we are beginning to hear the truth. Our product defect lawyers hope the FDA regulates e-cigarettes and protects our young people from these harmful products.


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