E-cigarettes ‘can leak toxic metals into vapers’ lungs’, scientists warn

Rob Waugh

The heating coils inside e-cigarette devices can leak toxic metals including lead – and the metals are found in the vapour inhaled by users, a new study has found.

Scientists examined e-cigarette devices owned by a sample of 56 users, and found that a significant number generated vapour with potentially unsafe levels of of lead, chromium, manganese or nickel.

Inhalation of these metals has been linked to lung, liver, immune, cardiovascular and brain damage, and even cancers.

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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 currently made, seem to be leaking toxic metals—which then get into the aerosols that vapers inhale.

Of the metals significantly present in the aerosols, lead, chromium, nickel and manganese were the ones of most concern, as all are toxic when inhaled.

Almost 50 percent of aerosol samples had lead concentrations higher than health-based limits defined by America’s Environmental Protection Agency.