Smoking Gun: Vapes Contain Toxins, Carcinogens and Possibly Polonium, Study Reveals
18:00 13.08.2023 (Updated: 18:08 13.08.2023)
An electronic cigarette, vaporizer, or vape is a smoking device that uses cartridges with a special liquid instead of tobacco. During smoking, the liquid is heated, and the smoker inhales its vapors.
E-cigarettes and disposable smokers likely contain a number of harmful substances that pose a health risk to smokers, a study has explained.
Australian researcher Alexander Larcombe used analytical chemistry to determine that e-cigarettes harbor volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and cancer-causing carcinogens.
The professor also suggested that the devices contain radioactive polonium-210, which can be found in ordinary cigarettes, as tobacco plants absorb the substance from soil, air and high-phosphate fertilizers.
"Whether polonium-210 is found in aerosols produced by e-cigarettes remains to be seen. Although it is feasible if the glycerin in e-liquids comes from plants and similar fertilizers are used to grow them," the published article read.
Another danger of vapes is from toxic metals and related substances such as arsenic, lead, chromium and nickel. These can seep from several parts of an e-cigarette, including the heating coil, wires, and solder joints.
The process of heating e-cigarette liquids, the expert believes, alters their chemical composition with the formation of decomposition products.
The researcher cited formaldehyde (used to embalm corpses), acetaldehyde (contributes to hangovers), acrolein (used as a chemical weapon during World War I), which are often found in samples of e-cigarettes.
4 August 2023, 15:51
In addition, devices can be labeled with generic flavor names such as "berry" or "Hawaiian Dream," preventing the user from familiarizing themselves with the composition of the flavors.
"But there is no way for a user to know what chemicals have been added to make those 'berry' or 'tobacco' flavors or the changes in these chemicals that may occur with heating and/or interacting with other ingredients and the device components," the researcher noted. "'Berry' flavor alone could be made from more than 35 different chemicals."
Given that, vapers just don’t know what they’re inhaling and cannot be certain of the health impacts, he argued.
On June 1, a law prohibiting the sale of vape devices and electronic cigarettes (including those without nicotine) and their consumables to minors came into force in Russia.