It has only been a few months since UK health bodies made the suggestion of keeping a healthy stock of e-cigarettes in hospital shops and now, we are faced with another bigger problem: Toxic heavy metal leakage.

E-cigarettes might be considered a healthier option over tobacco but recent studies have discovered toxic levels of heavy metals in e-cigarette aerosols.  Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health took samples of e-cigarettes from 56 vapers and found that most of them were being exposed to highly toxic levels of chromium, nickel and lead.

Nickel is known to cause chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function, and cancer of the lung. Lead, on the other hand, attacks the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death.

In 2016, a study was conducted wherein they found elevated levels of nickel and chromium in the urine and saliva of e-cigarette users. Now this has got the scientist community wondering if this is a relevant connection and its potential consequences. Is vaping bad for your health after all?

e-cigarette

E-cigarettes work by using a battery-powered heating element to turn a liquid solution into an aerosol. The question now is whether the metals are chemically leaching from the coil or vaporizing when it’s heated.

A total of 15 metals were tested in the vaping solution and the results were analysed for safer implementation. 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.

e-cigarette anatomy

Under half the devices tested produced aerosols with lead, nickel, manganese and chromium levels that exceeded Environmental Protection Agency limits.

The actual levels varied greatly from device to device and hence, nothing can be confirmed as of now. However, none of this means smoking cigarettes is a healthier option. Smoking in its truest sense will definitely give you a lung full of heavy metals. So the question really is, how safe, is safer?

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