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Study Finds Numerous Potentially Harmful Chemicals In E-Cigarette Aerosols

Oct, 2021 - By WMR

Study Finds Numerous Potentially Harmful Chemicals In E-Cigarette Aerosols

Researchers identified thousands of unknown substances and chemicals in vaping aerosols including caffeine and industrial chemicals.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University conducted a first ever study that applies an advanced fingerprinting method to vaping liquids and aerosols. The method is generally used for detecting chemicals in wastewater and food. The study found thousands of chemicals in electronic cigarette vaping liquid and aerosols. The scientists detected wide range of unidentified substances, chemicals and some potentially harmful compounds. According to the research published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology on October 5, 2021, people using e-cigarettes, vapes could be exposed to harmful compounds with bad health effects that are not yet verified.

The scientists tested four well-known tobacco flavored vape liquids and aerosols from four electronic cigarettes which included one tank, two pods and one disposable. The team used chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry to test the samples. This technique is mostly used for detecting organic compounds in food, wastewater and blood. The scientists found around 2000 various compounds with higher number of unidentified compounds. The chemicals identified in the study contained some harmful chemicals that included two flavoring substances related to respiratory irritation, a pesticide, three industrial chemicals and caffeine. Furthermore, the study also found condensed hydrocarbon-like substance in aerosols. These compounds are normally associated with combustion in normal cigarettes. Another study used gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry technique to study 65 vape liquid and found harmful chemicals such as benzaldehyde, trans-cinnamaldehyde, and signs of nicotine.

These studies with chromatography/ mass spectrometry techniques are directed towards tracing of any type of chemicals and not particularly finding harmful chemicals in the context of vaping. However, these studies highlight the little knowledge we have of chemicals used in e-cigarettes, which also suggests that electronic cigarettes are not a healthy option to conventional cigarettes.

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