People who use vape products are exposed to increased concentrations of potentially harmful metals that can damage DNA, according to a study published in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research.
Researchers from the University of California, Riverside, conducted the research, considered the first study to examine and quantify urinary biomarkers of effect and potential harm related to vaping.
“Our findings reaffirm that e-cigarette use is not harm free,” said Shane Sakamaki-Ching, a graduate student in the Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program and the research paper’s first author. “Indeed, prolonged use may lead to disease progression.”
One of the highest metal levels the researchers found in the urine of people who vaped was zinc, a mineral that plays a vital role in human health. But too much of it can lead to atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, pulmonary fibrosis, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and lung cancer.
Vape pens consist of a battery, atomizing unit, and refill fluid. The metal in vape devices generally comes from the metal components in the atomizer – nichrome wire, tin solder joints, brass clamps, insulating sheaths, and wicks, as well as the so-called vape juice that the atomizers heat, according to the team of researchers.
Vape products can also contain other potentially dangerous chemicals including cytotoxic flavor chemicals, ultrafine particles, and reaction products, the researchers warned. The devices have already been linked to various health issues including nicotine addiction and dependence, seizures, respiratory diseases, increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and impaired wound healing after surgery.
“Given the recent deaths and pulmonary illnesses related to e-cigarette usage, everyone should be made aware of the potential health risks linked to e-cigarette usage,” said Prue Talbot, a professor of cell biology at UC Riverside who led the research team.
Beasley Allen lawyers Andy Birchfield, Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett are handling cases involving injuries related to vaping. We are looking at cases involving adolescent addiction and injuries including seizures, strokes, lung problems, and cardiovascular problems related to the use of JUUL vaping devices. The vape litigation team also is representing school systems nationwide in their efforts to battle the vaping epidemic.