Popular e-cigarettes sold in the United States contain harmful bacteria and fungi, according to a new study from Harvard. The article was published in the journal “Environmental Health Perspectives“.
In the course of the study, 75 popular e-cigarette products were studied – cartridges and liquids. It was found that 27% contained traces of endotoxin, an agent from gram-negative bacteria, and 81% traces of glucan, which is located in the cell walls of most fungi. Exposure to these particles causes many health problems, including asthma, decreased lung function, and inflammation.
Gram-negative bacterial endotoxins and glucans in the air also cause acute and chronic respiratory diseases, so there is also bad news for passive smokers.
The use of electronic cigarettes in recent years has been steadily increasing, especially among students in senior and secondary schools. It is estimated that in 2018 more than three million high school students used e-cigarettes, in 2011 there were only 220 thousand. A previous study of the group showed that chemicals associated with severe respiratory diseases are detected even in conventional flavors of electronic cigarettes.
17 out of 75 products (23%) contained detectable concentrations of endotoxin, 61 out of 75 products (81%) contained detectable concentrations of glucan. Further analysis showed that the concentration of glucan in samples of the cartridge is 3.2 times higher than in samples of e-liquid. Glucan concentrations were also significantly higher in tobacco and menthol-flavored foods than in fruit-flavored foods.