Researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have conducted a study to examine samplings of heavy metals in various e-cigarette brands. Cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese and nickel were targeted in the study of five different e-cigarette brands. Researchers specifically looked at the liquid that creates the aerosol that e-cigarette users inhale when they vape. In first generation e-cigarettes (the ones that resemble traditional cigarettes), this liquid is in a cartridge in close proximity to a heating coil. This increases the liquid’s exposure to the coil even in the absence of heating. All five of the heavy metals were found in varied levels in every brand tested. Researchers believe that the main source of the metals is from the coil that heats the liquid.
“We do not know if these levels are dangerous, but their presence is troubling and could mean that the metals end up in the aerosol that e-cigarette users inhale…One of the things that is troubling is that the metals in e-cigarette coils, which heat the liquid that creates the aerosol, are toxic when inhaled, so perhaps regulators might want to look into an alternative material for e-cigarette heating coils.”
– Ana María Rule, PhD, MHS, an assistant scientist in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health and Engineering.