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The Harvard study raises concerns about contaminated e-cigarettes







The e-cigarette you push may be contaminated, according to a recent study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study entitled "Endotoxin and (1®3) -b-D-glucan contamination in electronic cigarette products is sold in the United States", published on Wednesday in the environmental health perspective.

The study "examined 75 popular e-cigarette products ̵

1; disposable cartridges and e-fluids (refillable) – found that 27% contained traces of endotoxin, a microbial agent found on gram-negative bacteria, and that 81% contained traces of glucan present in the cell walls of most fungi, Chan School said in a statement.

The school said that exposure "to these microbial toxins has been associated with myriad health problems in humans, including asthma, decreased lung function and inflammation."

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David Christiani, Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics at Chan School and senior author of the study, said in the statement that the results are concerned.

"Airborne Gram-negative bacterial endotoxins and fungal-derived glucans have been shown to cause acute and chronic respiratory effects in occupational and environmental settings," says Christiani. "Finding these toxins in e-cigarette products contributes to the growing concern about the potential for negative respiratory effects in users."

His comments were echoed by Mi-Sun Lee, a Chan School researcher and chief author of the paper.

"In addition to inhaling harmful chemicals, e-cig users can also be exposed to biological contaminants such as endotoxin and glucan," Lee said in the statement. "These new findings should be considered when developing the regulatory policy for e-cigarettes."

The studies in the study contradict the claims of the Tobacco Damp Electronic Cigarette Association, an industry advocacy group.

"E-cig is simply a battery and five main ingredients (propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine, water and flavors) that work in harmony to give adults a desired nicotine in a hand-to-mouth ritual that cannot be mimicked by Traditional nicotine replacement treatments (NRT), such as rubbers, patches and lozenges that have up to 92% in error, say the association on its website.

The site describes the e-cigarette as a "wonderful technique after the introduction in the US in early 2007 have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands. "

So why the Harvard team alarm? [19659002] According to Chan School, its previous research has shown that" chemicals linked to severe respiratory diseases exist in common e-cigarette flavor. Furthermore, research by investigators conducted over many decades has shown chronic lung disease in populations exposed to airborne biological contaminants. But, according to the authors, there is no research on the potential contamination of e-cigarettes with microbes or microbial toxins. "

For the study published Wednesday, Chan School said" researchers selected 37 e-cigarette cartridges, sometimes referred to as "cigalikes" and 38 e-liquid products, which can be used to replenish certain cartridges from the 10 best-selling US brands . The products were classified into four different taste categories: tobacco, menthol, fruit and other. All products were then screened for the presence of endotoxin and glucan. "The finding, according to Chan School," showed that 17 out of 75 products (23%) contained detectable concentrations of endotoxin and that 61 out of 75 products (81%) contained detectable concentrations of glucan. "

The statement continued" Further analysis showed that cartridge samples had 3.2 times higher concentrations of glucan than the e-liquid samples. Glucan concentrations were also significantly higher in tobacco and menthol flavored products than in fruit flavored products. The study also showed that endotoxin concentrations were higher in fruit-flavored products, indicating that raw materials used in preparing flavors may be a source of microbial contamination. "The Chan School said that" scientists noted that contamination of the products could have occurred at any time during the production of the ingredients or the finished e-cigarette product. They suggested that cotton wads used in e-cigarette cartridges may be a potential source of contamination, since both endotoxin and glucan are known cotton fiber contaminants. "The findings came after the Tobacco Damp Electronic Cigarette Association in October 2018 trumped a CDC study that the industry group said" finally debunked claims vape contains toxic formaldehyde. "

The CDC study entitled" Evaluation of Chemical Exposures at a Vape Shop, "said researchers visited a vape store in January 2016.

Results from the air samples we collected using thermal desorption tubes showed very low concentrations of 102 chemicals, the CDC study says." These include chemicals found in cleaning products. used in the store (limonene, isopropanol), chemicals that are common ingredients in personal products (decamethylcyclopentasiloxane) and other chemicals that can be classified as flavoring agents. Background concentrations of airborne nicotine, propylene glycol and VOC in the store were also very low. "

The CDC study said that" the health effects associated with weapons are not well understood. … Flavorings such as diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione have been associated with severe respiratory diseases. One way to reduce exposure to these chemicals is not to use products containing them. Studies have shown that even flavors reported to be free of diacetyl may still contain it. "

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ TAGlobe .


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