Asthma-Causing Toxins Found in E-Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes, popularly known as e-cigarettes, may contain microbial toxins associated with myriad health problems, including asthma, reduced lung function and inflammation, warns a new study.
For the study, the researchers from Harvard University examined 75 popular e-cigarette products - cartridges (single use) and e-liquids (refillable material) - sold in the US.
The results, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, showed that 27 percent of these products contained traces of endotoxin, a microbial agent found on Gram-negative bacteria, and 81 percent contained traces of glucan, which is found in the cell walls of most fungi.
"Finding these toxins in e-cigarette products adds to the growing concerns about the potential for adverse respiratory effects in users," Christiani added.
The findings showed that 17 of 75 products (23 percent) contained detectable concentrations of endotoxin and that 61 of 75 products (81 percent) contained detectable concentrations of glucan.
The study also found that endotoxin concentrations were higher in fruit-flavoured products, indicating that raw materials used in the production of flavours might be a source of microbial contamination.
"In addition to inhaling harmful chemicals, e-cig users could also be exposed to biological contaminants like endotoxin and glucan," said lead author of the study Mi-Sun Lee.
(This story was published from a syndicated feed. Only the headline and picture has been edited by FIT)