Environmental Chemistry

Are e cigerattes safe to use indoors?

Known carcinogens of cigarettes


Are e Cigarettes safe?Are e-cigarettes safe?


Are e cigarettes safe to use indoors?

Are e cigarettes safe?Definitely, the times are tough for the electronic cigarette industry. It was thought to be less harmful than the conventional cigarette, but more and more studies seem to implicate it in a number of diseases. The latest one shows toxic metal concentrations in the vapors produced by some models.

In a recent report of the World Health Organization ( WHO ), e-cigarettes are considered  “undeniably harmful” . In the United States, a strange disea seems to hit, for some months, fans of vaping. As a result, regulations around the world are getting tougher .

It is in this already tense context that researchers at the University of California at Riverside (USA) have just announced that they have discovered toxic metals in the vapors emitted by certain models of e-cigarettes.

Those with a tank type tank, put on the market in 2013. Electronic cigarettes with batteries and atomizers are more powerful and tanks of greater capacity

Known carcinogenscigarette

Aluminum, calcium , chromium , copper , iron , lead , magnesium , nickel , silicon , tin and zinc . Of the 19 metals found in total, these in particular appear to come from atomizer components.

And the higher the usage voltage, the higher the concentration of metals in the vapors is too. “Chromium, lead and nickel concentrations are even enough to cause health problems  ”says Monique Williams, a researcher at the University of California.

And others – those of copper or zinc, for example – exceed the limits imposed by the American Administration.

Recall that chromium, lead and nickel are three known carcinogens . In addition, prolonged exposure to chromium can have gastrointestinal effects and lead to respiratory irritation and impaired lung function.

Prolonged exposure to lead can cause vomiting, diarrhea and cardiovascular effects. The inhalation of nickel can lead to pulmonary disease, lesions of the nasal cavity, irritation of the lungs , an inflammation of the lungs, a hyperplasia of the lung cells and fibrosis .


The potentially toxic e-cigarette according to 60 million consumers

Vapors inhaled by vapers would contain potentially carcinogenic substances, such as formaldehyde or acrolein, according to the September issue of the magazine  60 million consumers .

 A study that revives the debate on the use of electronic cigarettes, a fashionable product to try to wean themselves off tobacco, and which could encourage the authorities to strengthen controls around this new phenomenon.


What is the risk of e-cigarette users   ? This question agitates the medical and political world since this product begins to impose itself in France.

Created in 2002 in Japan, but improved and patented in 2005 by Chinese, the e-cigarette becomes the new fashionable weapon to fight against the  dependence on smoking . It looks like a cigarette, it is put in the mouth like a cigarette, except that it is not smoked, it is vaping.

No need for lighter. A battery heats a resistor placed in a liquid often containing propylene glycol, but sometimes also nicotine . The heat allows the evaporation of the molecules , and the smoke thus produced is inhaled by the user.

Recently landed in France, it has already made hundreds of thousands of fans, most often people wanting to stop  smoking .

 But the e-cigarette has conquered the market without even  studying  its potential health hazards. Hence the reluctance of some doctors, who prefer to wait for concrete work to advise their patients.

Formaldehyde, acrolein, acetaldehyde and heavy metals

The National Institute of Consumption ( INC ) may have taken a first step in this direction. In the September issue of its magazine,  60 million consumers , a survey was conducted to detect the molecules found in the vapor emitted by a dozen models of electronic cigarettes sold in France.

Their analyzes reveal the presence of certain toxic substances   at rates that are sometimes as high or even higher than in the smoke of the traditional cigarette.

 For example, the journal notes in 30% of products tested formaldehyde levels (also known as formalin and probable carcinogen) comparable to those found in a   conventional cigarette . In one of the models, acrolein levels, a molecule that is known to be particularly dangerous by inhalation, can even exceed the concentrations found in real cigarettes. The fault surely to the heater, too intense.

The acetaldehyde , classified as a potential carcinogen, was also detected in the vapors of e-cigarettes . While the rates are lower than those typically found in the smoke from burning tobacco leaves, they are not negligible, according to the magazine.

The presence of heavy metals such as chromium and nickel has also been reported. There would also be less  lead  and aluminum .

The electronic cigarette really more dangerous than tobacco?

The article also mentions other defects. In the labeling already. For example, he points out that the qualified products without propylene glycol still contain some, while others do not specify it on the packaging.

It is the same for  nicotine , found at rates inconsistent with what is displayed. In addition, the presence of a plug is not systematic, which could allow children to play with.

 However, nicotine is particularly harmful for the youngest, and can even become fatal at high doses. In the press, Thomas Laurenceau, editor of the magazine, said that  “it’s not a reason to ban them. This is a reason to better control them. “

Until then, we did not necessarily think to find at such high levels of such toxic molecules. Despite this, politicians had already seized the debate.

 In May, Marisol Touraine, Minister Delegate for Health, said he wanted to frame the electronic cigarette in the same way as the traditional cigarette. The following month, MPs voted a law that prohibits the sale to minors, because it can be a first stepping stone to  smoking .

This work, which did not use a smoking machine  , but a facility deemed more accurate by the magazine to actually estimate the rates of released molecules, remains preliminary.

 If it is actually proven that the product is not free of any health risk, it remains to measure the real dangers, and to compare them with those caused by tobacco, responsible for six million deaths worldwide in 2012.

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