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Toxic Metals in E-Cigarette Vapors


#1

Recent studies (several since 2015) proclaim high levels of heavy metals present in the vapor produced in some (if not most) e-cig atomizers / tanks.

Discusses metals present in vapor:

Discusses metals present in ‘tanks’:

I am a huge vaping fan, and just want to share ‘information’ and discuss minimizing/eliminating health hazards we may be exposing ourselves and others too. There is quite a bit of information absent in these articles as well, but enough to start a discussion I believe.

The first article suggests the newer the coil the more heavy metals are present in the vapor. It also implies the heating of coils increases the amount of heavy metals present in the vapor we inhale. The second article (which was the first study from this group) claims heavy metals present in e liquid extracted from ‘tanks’ that have not been ‘fire’ (coils heated).

All metals corrode unless enclosed in a vacuum. When metal is heated it increases it’s susceptibility to corrosion. These are just properties of metals. Also glycols when heated form acids and acids deteriorate metal.

Based on these 3 articles here are some of my current thoughts:

-Stainless steel or titanium coils may provide the least amount of heavy metals since they are most resistant to corrosion.
-Using flavorings with no acid will help prevent coils from corroding.
-Vaping at lower watts / low temps may help prevent heavy metals from entering the vapor.
-The less metal used in a coil build may help minimize the levels of heavy metals in vapor.
-Using ‘burned in’ or old coils may reduce the amounts of heavy metals in vapor. (-due to carbonation of the metal, forming a protective layer between the metal and e liquid.)
-Using a ceramic coil where the metal heating element is not exposed to the e liquid may help eliminate the emission of heavy metals into the vapor. I don’t know if this exists. The ceramic coils I know of are more ceramic wicks where the metal heating them is still exposed to the e liquid trapped in the pours of the ceramic.

So what are everyone’s thoughts on this topic?


Here is the link to the original study:
https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/ehp2175/#tab1


#2

I think if you don’t feel safe doing anything , then you shouldn’t. What a great first post , safety first!


#3

The reason we are using Kanthal wire is because it can withstand the temperatures we put it up against while vaping and dry burning.

Nickel wire should never be dry burned because it can’t withstand so high temperatures and release some sort of heavy metals. That’s why Nickel is very popular for Temperature Control.
Pretty sure SS also shouldn’t be heated to glowing red.


#4

Painted or copper RDA’S from Fasttech is a no go.
You don’t know which copper or paint is used.

This is what corrosion looks like.
Have seen it once in a Velocity style deck from Fasttech where the deck was SS but the screws was the only thing not corrosion resistant so it had rust inside the posts.


#5

Notice the metals the found were CHROMIUM, MANGANESE, and NICKEL.

Google composition of 316SS. 16-18% chromium and 10-15% nickel. What you must understand is SS and Ti dont corrode for ENTIRELY different reasons. SS is an alloy, Ti is an element.

The iron in SS does not corrode due to the presence of Chromium. 316 is widely praised as the most corrosion resistant, and if you pull up the table of SS alloys you will find 316 has the most chromium. Corrosion resistance in steels generally goes with the chromium content. This is why I have avoided SS until recently. After using SS, I now avoid it because it is shitty compared to kanthal and Ti. It sizzles after the hit, it ramps slower, wears my builds out 4x faster AND contains a large amount of chromium which passivates it against corrosion.

Ti is actually EXTREMELY reactive. It will burn in air. Titanium powder has been used for decades as solid rocket fuel by the Russians. I have personally burned a few hundred dollars of Ti nanopowder just for fun.

That extreme reactivity doesnt cause our wires to blow. Why? Because the instant reaction with oxygen results in the formation of an extremely adherent oxide that prevents further reaction with oxygen by the metal deeper in the bulk. The oxide seals the surface with what is essentially a thin ceramic.

Nanopowders are all surface and no volume, which is why they combust. Put that same ultra-reactive surface on a larger hunk of metal and the bulk metal is protected from corrosion by the surface oxide…the mechanism by which chromium protects iron in stainless alloys is simply not comparable. Anyone inclined to read your links, which are great, thank you, should probably read up on the actual composition of the alloys of wires. Kanthal also has a lot of chrome as well as does nichrome.

I always reserve the right to be wrong, but anyone that really cares about inhaling toxic metals, and chromium is particularly bad, should be using Ti.

Here is an old thread with more info:


#6

I’ve been using Ti coils exclusively for nearly 2 years if not more. One other benefit I’ve noticed is it’s longevity. I may have changed 3 coils last year, and even then it was from me deforming the coils while cleaning and not from metal degradation.

I use the 22g Ti coils and I’m able to do a minimal dry burn and brush off the crud and reuse them. I’ve learned to let them cool before brushing so I don’t deform the coil.


#7

I should add Ti brings its own sets of issues. The worst of which (in my humble and ignorant opinion, I dont claim to know everything) is that if you blow a high power build in a big RDA…and Ti is more prone to this than other metals…it can light your RDA on fire.

I would also say that there is some really crappy Ti wire out there. KBee Vapes with a bee and purple sticker being the very worst I have seen. Its flat out dangerous with hot spots everywhere, a rough damaged surface, and filthy with God knows what. Please dont buy it.

Ti is really sensitive to being bent or worked, especially if its been heated. So be very careful rewicking. Id say do not rewick a Ti build. If you use hemp wick, you can reuse thevwick when your coils get crusty. Anyway, bending Ti can cause the resistance to increase near the bend resulting in a hotspot that can blow when fired.

As always, YMMV…do your own research, fact check me. Take responsibility for your own safety. Im a random internet yahoo. OP, good on you for looking into this.


#8

Your experience got me using it long ago IIRC.


#9

Myself and several others as well , @Pro_Vapes DeepWater build is awesome!


#10

OK, here we go again… Please note that this “study” :
was funded by the Institute for Global Tobacco Control,

We have previously discussed extensively the topic of “junk science” … Please see the many references in this following link to the thread that tries to help everyone understand that so-called “public heath studies” are very rarely real science. Investigator bias is rampant in low quality “studies” whose main purpose is to write grant funding to dip into, what has become, a billion dollar well of publicly funded anti-tobacco efforts by the NIH and others.


#11

I’d be lying if I said I use Ti wire because it’s the safest. I’ve tried pretty much every wire out there and Ti just gives the best flavor for me.

I never realized how much metal taste I got from some wires until I tried Ti with a zero metal taste. I feel I get a lot purer vape with Ti.

EDIT: If you have concerns here’s a previous post from 2015 about wire safety…


#12

what is every ones opinion regarding power mode ( watts ), vaping between 40 and 60 watts , which metal is best for this situation , im looking for opinions ty


#13

Sounds like it’s a Titanium wire circle jerk…


#14

Just curious what mods you use, I hear/read there are an awful lot of mods that don’t do TC so well. That’s the thing that scares me a bit about using Ti…
What you’re saying about all other metals tasting of metal (I get that from Ka, not from SS), it does make me curious to give it a try.


#15

DNA 60 is what you are looking for.


#16

Doesn’t the power you use completely depend on what coils, mod and atty you’re using? I can make coils that really don’t like that much of power and others that barely produce vapor on the same. And some attomizers are just not made for small tiny coils while others don’t like the big ones. And not all mods have the same power delivery either.

I usually vape dual coils, 2x26g SS wrapped in 38g or 40g SS, about 7 wraps 3mm id between 65-75W or 200-230C (on a DNA250, make that 250C for a similar experience on a wismec at 70-80W).
Every time I use Ka, I get a nasty metallic flavor and I still don’t trust TC on mods well enough to give Ti or Ni a try (although I’m curious).


#17

Won’t do for me, 3 batteries or more for me :crazy_face:
But I guess my DNA250 should do. Wouldn’t trust my Wismec with it though…


#18

Im more concerned you are using power mode…yuck. To first order I think @Pro_Vapes attitude is most appropriate. Wire is wire. Second order its about individual priorities.

For me Ti tastes best, is safest, my Ti/hemp builds last 4 months, frequently without so much as a rinse of water…and thats running on LiPo PWM mods at well above 150W.

I can only encourage you to read up and experiment for yourself. I dont give a flying foxtrot what anyone uses…its their choice, right? Best obviously varies by person and application. At 60W maybe youll prefer SS…but at 180W the sizzling of SS is unacceptable for my puposes. The sizzling of 18 & 20ga Ti is also unacceptable to me.

I remembered @Cutlass92 uses smaller gauge SS to avoid cooking his builds with sizzling IIRC.


#19

Somebody correct me if i’m wrong but DNA 60 is the most advanced and accurate chip you can get currently. (Also one of the most expensive)
But people who swear by TC usually use DNA 60 boards.

All comes down to coil resistance 30AWG is much thinner than 22AWG so it is of course much lower resistance.

I have noticed that my single battery Pico has much less ‘kick’ to it than a 3 battery mod.
I’m just guessing it’s because both chips are cheap and inaccurate but the 3 battery device is in series and so on.


#20

All the DNA boards should be reasonably precise. But the DNA 60 has been tested to be the most accurate.