Science and Tech


Some E-Cigarette Coils May Leach Lead, Other Toxins Into The Vapor

Researchers found that certain parts of e-cigarettes could leak potentially toxic chemicals into the aerosol that users inhale.
Posted at 5:09 PM, Feb 23, 2018

When e-cigarettes entered the market, a flurry of studies suggested they could be much safer than tobacco cigarettes. But new research finds they might have their own problems: E-cig users might be exposed to toxins every time they take a hit.

Researchers tested 56 daily users' e-cigarettes and e-liquids for 15 common metals. The e-liquids had very low levels of metal on their own, but when they contacted the heating coil, researchers found the smoke they produced had unsafe levels of toxic metals, like nickel and lead.

Researchers aren't sure how these metals got from the coil to the smoke, but they don't think they could be coming from anywhere else. They also found that the aerosols with the highest metal concentrations came from e-cigarettes that had the coils changed often.

And while e-liquid might not carry dangerous metals on its own, the team found just under a fifth of the samples had significant levels of another highly toxic element: arsenic. Researchers aren't sure where it came from or why regulators didn't find it sooner.