Metal Heroes

Posted 8th November 2018 by Dave Cross
A recent study by John Hopkins University was covered by many media outlets, and claimed that vaping devices released toxic levels of metals. Konstantinos Farsalinos and Brad Rodu put those claims to the test – and proved that vapers would need to consume a ridiculously high level of juice in order to approach established safety limits.

The coils used for vaping are made up of metals such as titanium, nickel, Kanthal (iron-chromium-aluminium), nichrome (nickel-chromium with trace iron, copper, titanium, aluminium and others) and stainless steel. During heating, minute quantities of the metals are released into the wick and e-liquid - and then into the vapour.

Consequently, this is a very valid area of research as it could have implications for the long-term health of a vaper. Typically, John Hopkins did its best to put a negative slant on its work in order to maintain funding and continue a growing body of corrupt work.

Researchers, like those at John Hopkins, frequently ignore the old adage that it is the dose that makes the poison. It is for this reason bodies such as the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry and the US Environmental Protection Agency specify safety limits rather than banning substances entirely.

Farsalinos and Rodu discovered that for a vaper to achieve the levels claimed by the John Hopkins researchers someone would need to use over 2 million grams of eliquid to consume an unsafe level of aluminium – and that’s in a single day.

To exceed daily exposure limits: more than 15,000g of liquid per day for cadmium, over 68g for chromium, 588g for copper, and 56,000g for iron.

88 Vape

The pair write: “17g/day liquid consumption needed to exceed safety limits (for the 75th percentile value reported by Olmedo et al., 2018) is approximately three-fold the average consumption. While the 95% confidence interval of liquid consumption in one study was 10 mL/day (Dawkins et al., 2013, calculated as mean þ [1.96 x standard deviation]), anecdotal reports suggest there are cases of consumers using 15–20g liquid per day (and maybe more).”

“Therefore, it is possible that some EC users consume amounts that would result in nickel exposure exceeding safety limits, although these cases do not represent average use. For all other metals, the amount of liquid consumption exceeding safety limits is so high that it is virtually impossible to be reached by EC users.”

Colin Mendelsohn wrote: “The mere presence of a chemical is meaningless without a risk assessment. Trace metals are present everywhere in the environment, including in the air, water, food, dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, even nicotine inhalers, and are of no concern.”

“It is likely that metal exposure from vaping will reduce over time as the technology and manufacturing and products used are improved. But for now, the bottom line is that trace levels of metals released by vaping and are not a health risk.”

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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