Tuesday October 15, 2019

Carcinogen Metals Like- Lead, Nickel Found in E-Cigarettes

A team of US scientists has found that the concentration of carcinogen metals like lead, nickel, iron and copper in electronic cigarette aerosols, or vapour, has increased

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e-cigarettes, lead, nickel, carcinogen, metal
Prolonged exposure to lead could produce vomiting, diarrhoea, cardiovascular effects, and lung cancer. Pixabay

A team of US scientists has found that the concentration of carcinogen metals like lead, nickel, iron and copper in electronic cigarette aerosols, or vapour, has increased since tank-style electronic cigarettes were introduced in 2013.

Electronic cigarettes, which consist of a battery, atomizing unit and refill the fluid, are now available in new tank-style designs, equipped with more powerful batteries and larger capacity reservoirs for storing more refill fluid.

But the high-power batteries and atomizers used in these new styles can alter the metal concentrations that transfer into the aerosol, said researchers from the University of California, Riverside.

“These tank-style e-cigarettes operate at higher voltage and power, resulting in higher concentrations of metals, such as lead, nickel, iron, and copper, in their aerosols.

“Most of the metals in e-cigarette aerosols likely come from the nichrome wire, tin solder joints, brass clamps, insulating sheaths, and wicks, components of the atomizer unit,” said Monique Williams, a post-doctoral researcher and the first author of the paper that appeared in the journal Scientific Reports.

The researchers examined six tank-style electronic cigarettes and found all the aerosols had metals that appeared to originate in the atomizers.

Further, they found the model with fewest metal parts in its atomizer had the fewest metals in its aerosol.

Of the 19 metals they screened, aluminium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, nickel, silicon, tin and zinc were from components in the atomizing units.

“We found the concentrations of chromium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc exceeded the proposed permissible exposure limit from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration,” Williams said.

e-cigarettes, lead, nickel, carcinogen, metal
Prolonged exposure to chromium could cause gastrointestinal effects, nasal and lung cancer, respiratory irritation, and lung function impairment. Wikimedia Commons

Chromium, lead, and nickel are known as carcinogens. Prolonged exposure to chromium could cause gastrointestinal effects, nasal and lung cancer, respiratory irritation, and lung function impairment.

Prolonged exposure to lead could produce vomiting, diarrhoea, cardiovascular effects, and lung cancer.

Nickel inhalation could cause lung disease, damage to the nasal cavity, lung irritation, lung inflammation, hyperplasia in pulmonary cells and fibrosis.

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The researchers have analyzed the following six tanks and their atomizers: Kangertech Protank, Aspire Nautilus tank, Kanger T3S tank, Tsunami 2.4, Smok tank and Clone.

“The presence of heavy metals, including some known carcinogens, in e-cigarette aerosols is concerning because with prolonged exposure they could cause adverse health effects,” said Prue Talbot, a professor of cell biology, who led the research team. (IANS)

Next Story

EPA Seeks to Rewrite Rules for Dealing with Lead Pipes Contaminating Drinking Water

Communities and families in Flint, Michigan, Newark, New Jersey, and elsewhere have had to grapple with high levels of lead

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EPA, Rules, Lead
FILE - A bottled water dispenser sits in a hallway at Gardner Elementary School in Detroit, Sept. 4, 2018. Some 50,000 Detroit public school students will drink water from coolers, not fountains, after the discovery of elevated levels of lead or copper. VOA

The Trump administration Thursday proposed a rewrite of rules for dealing with lead pipes contaminating drinking water, but critics say the changes appear to give water systems decades more time to replace pipes leaching dangerous amounts of toxic lead. EPA.

Contrary to regulatory rollbacks in many other environmental areas, the administration has called dealing with lead contamination in drinking water a priority. Communities and families in Flint, Michigan, Newark, New Jersey, and elsewhere have had to grapple with high levels of lead in tap water and with regulatory failures dealing with the health threat.

Lead in drinking water has been linked to developmental delays in children and can damage the brain, red blood cells and kidneys. It is most often caused by lead service lines — pipes connecting a home to a water main — or lead fixtures in a home or school.

At a news conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced changes that include requiring water systems to test lead levels in water at schools and child care facilities.

EPA, Rules, Lead
Contrary to regulatory rollbacks in many other environmental areas, the administration has called dealing with lead contamination in drinking water a priority. Pixabay

But Wheeler disappointed conservation groups by declining to lower the level of lead contamination in drinking water systems that triggers cleanup action. And another change lowered the amount of lead pipe that water systems have to replace each year once the threshold is hit, cutting it from 7% a year to 3% a year.

That, according to Eric Olson at the Natural Resources Defense Council conservation group, would give water utilities about 20 more years to fully replace all the lead pipes in a contaminated system.

Wheeler said a series of other, smaller changes in the new proposals would offset that. Overall, he argued, the rule changes, if the White House ultimately adopts them, would mean leaking old lead pipes are “replaced at a much faster rate than ever before.”

Also Read- Hundreds of School Children in Nigeria Join Global Fight for Climate Action

Betsy Southerland, a senior EPA water official under the Obama administration, said the new proposals largely miss the opportunity to boost the urgency of the country’s rules, issued in 1991, for cleaning up lead in water systems. Asked her overall impression, she said, “I would say disappointing.” (IANS)