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Toxic Metals in E-Cigarette Vapors


That makes sense. I was searching for DeepWater, as it was written above. Thanks!


I mean in @Harlan_Grey’s context. No one ever said vaping was ‘healthy’, sure. No one also ever said operating an automobile was ‘healthy’ either. But neither will actively works towards your demise, (and no I don’t mean the case of an accident). My point is, humans do many things that are neither healthy nor unhealthy. And we do a lot of things that are necessarily healthy and unhealthy. Sure, maybe we won’t be prescribed a lifestyle of diet, exercise, and vaping by the doctor, but that does not mean vaping is ‘unhealthy’.

Frankly, compared to smoking analogs, it is quite healthy. All of the studies that have Chicken Little alarms ringing about vaping are from biased sources. Many studies and articles from unbiased sources have failed to make any real connection to vaping and adverse health affects, certainly not enough to deem vaping ‘dangerous’.

If anyone is concerned about inhaling toxic metals, just stop breathing.


I just saw Dr. Farsalinos respond to this:

For those asking questions about the latest study on metal emissions from e-cigarettes, here is my comment:
The “significant amount” of metals the authors reported they found were measured in ug/kg. In fact they are so low that for some cases (chromium and lead) I calculated that you need to vape more than 100 ml per day in order to exceed the FDA limits for daily intake from inhalational medications. The authors once again confuse themselves and everyone else by using environmental safety limits related to exposure with every single breath, and apply them to vaping. However, humans take more than 17,000 (thousand) breaths per day but only 400-600 puffs per day from an e-cigarette.


@IzNoGoat great reply and helps set this topic in context.

Here is the link to the original study:


well that is very interesting. Thanks very much for the link. I will let Dr. Farsalinos take that one apart piece by piece.

The study obviously has huge issues with the math that extrapolates any “meaningful real world” results backwards from the detection methods. In some cases the measurement were at or less than 5% of the ability of the machinery to get accurate detection of a known sample reference. To any engineer this problem is a severe example of dangerous “stacking error”. -The authors of the article admit that they were using the detection devices at or near the LOD (limits of detection of the machinery) commonly around or at levels below 5 millionths of a gram per liter. In two cases the metals Cd and Sb were below the LOD entirely and therefore left off the study results.

One must be very careful extrapolating out extreme multipliers to arrive at meaningful real world results. You know this from your experience in mixing recipes i.e. when you mix a liter of your favorite mix, it is easy and all the ingredients can be accurately weighed on your scale as they are comfortably in the operating range of the instrument. - But one day you want to mix only a 30ml bottle and when you do the math in reverse you see that you will have to measure some ingredient down to a precision of less than a tenth of a gram. You stop at that point because you know that your scale is not capable of doing that with any real accuracy. The problem with the methods used in this “research paper” is exactly that measurement error problem in reverse. Operating measurement machinery at or below its LOD is a very bad idea !

Also must be considered, at the extreme low levels of sample collection and detection, there is the very real possibility of contamination of the samples during and after collection. . There is a glaring engineering error in the methodology of this series of "tests:. That is: Who knows what the ambient conditions were in the collection environment? Maybe there was a busted commercial air conditioner feeding the room air where the collection took place? - There is also tip offs of vicious investigator bias: Statements appear in the paper like “The finding (…) is of major concern both directly for the consumer as well as for those involuntarily exposed to e-cigarette aerosol, especially children.” Really? especially children? You know all real science has to protect “the children”… Future grant funding depends on it !!! :sunglasses:


I would compare it to things like alcohol, caffeine and sugar. We choose to use these things knowing that they can/could cause health problems down the road. I have chosen to use something that is better for me than analogs, but, they are only 95% better by the most liberal estimate. That means it’s still 5% worse than breathing the surrounding air. Therefore I can’t consider it healthy. (I don’t consider donuts healthy either but I still religiously eat at least 2 every morning.)


The hell with children, is my cat safe?


I would like to see that tested and confirmed too. If you’re in the country side, I’m happy to go with that number, but sitting in your car in a tunnel in a traffic jam? Walking next to a busy road in an industrialised area?
The last couple years, at least once a year there’s a smog alarm here where car use is restricted to not make matters worse. A lot of people are still heating their houses with wood and coals, bad smoke particles and CO pollution.

Surrounding air isn’t all that clean anymore in places where most people live. But that’s all OK because it would damage the economy and disrupt people’s convenience if they want to tackle that.


True, but vaping is adding to that. At one point the air in California was the equivalent of smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day. Still waiting on the warning label.


Well, of course, ambient conditions are atrocious in many locations. I hate to keep harping back to my personal dislike for ‘junk science’, but I can not believe this trash was actually put out under the banner of the prestigious name of J Hopkins: I have re-read the paper 20 times and can not come up with where they state the ambient conditions of the intake of the ‘samples’ . All I can find is this statement under 'Methods"

we sampled (…) from daily e-cigarette users who were recruited as part of a study to evaluate e-cigarette use in Maryland

(samples collected by) Trained field workers administered a standardized questionnaire recording information (…) we collected three types of samples from their device and dispenser.

So were they in the Vape Shop in Maryland where the 52 ‘volunteers’ were recruited when they took the test ‘samples’? And what’s the deal with volunteers? Vapers that will respond to cooperating with call for ‘research volunteers’ ? That is protocol for blind population samples? And ‘trained field workers’ ???

Yeeeesssh… the whole thing is such garbage.


In response:

Furthermore: I hope someone will test for the same carcinogens in cigarettes and see what they find.


I hope this post does not turn into a long read. but I see myself as someone that can make a few technical nit pick comments from time to time. Usually they can not be condensed down to a few words. I will try to make it as concentrated as I can:

I want to ask cosmic truth “who said these metals are 'carcinogens?” -Are they?

1.) the ‘metals’ tested for are not outright carcinogens. In fact Fe (Iron) is a necessary nutrient in your body, responsible for the oxygen transport in your red blood cells. Without Iron you would die, not the other way 'round like the paper wants you to believe. The words, ‘toxic’, ‘carcinogen’ must be used very carefully. They are two very different things. Toxicity is used as a term for a compound that outright chemically engages with known biochemical processes in a living thing, in a way that disrupts, harms, or interferes with the natural processes to the point of harm to the living organism.

Carcinogenic processes is fundamentally different in that it involves unique processes that are not as simple, usually specific DNA profiles of the organism must be ‘just right’ to cause that particular system turn ‘cancerous’ . This is somewhat like the reason that you never get the flu, but your friend always does. So to say "these metals we looked at in the vapor will cause cancer, and are ‘carcinogenic’ " is an outright misuse of these terms. It is a verbal subterfuge that proves the paper was written in a carefully contrived way to appeal to the emotional reaction to “fear of words’” of the average non trained, non chemist, non toxicologist, man on the street. There is nothing wrong with being an ‘average man on the street’, none of us are born knowing about these things, just not everyone has invested the hours and years of college level study necessary… what is wrong is for a trained researcher to contrive a piece of work whose purpose takes advantage of those, less informed, to further his political and financial ivory tower empire building.

Besides Iron (Fe) lets look at his mention of Manganese (Mn) … It is virtually inert as far as toxicity and does not even appear anywhere in the literature as a carcinogen. Incorrectly the metal Mn is stated in the ‘study’ as being part of a group of “metals that are toxic when inhaled (Mn and Zn).” This is an outright mis statement of the truth that boarders on an outright lie. In fact Mn has been studied for centuries because exposure to it is very common to large populations, particularly miners, welders, -

I know this is a long read, but here you go. Let look at what the toxicity of Mn really is:

from: Manganese CASRN: 7439-96-5
I. Chronic Health Hazard Assessment for Non carcinogenic Effects:
I.A. Reference Dose for Chronic Oral Exposure (RfD):
… below the concentration of about 10 ug/m3, Mn in the body is dominated by dietary Mn, and additional inhaled Mn only causes negligible changes in Mn levels unless the inhaled amount is substantial." [Reference #2] Occupational asthma in a welder confirmed by bronchoprovocation testing; [Malo] (Note: In Haz-Map, occupational asthma is linked to Manganese but not to manganese compounds.)
-further -
Manganese is a ubiquitous element that is essential for normal physiologic functioning in all animal species. Several disease states in humans have been associated with both deficiencies and excess intakes of manganese. Thus any quantitative risk assessment for manganese must take into account aspects of both the essentiality and the toxicity of manganese. In humans, many data are available providing information about the range of essentiality for manganese. Finally, it is important to emphasize that individual requirements for, as well as adverse reactions to, manganese may be highly variable. The reference dose is estimated to be an intake for the general population that is not associated with adverse health effects; this is not meant to imply that intakes above the reference dose are necessarily associated with toxicity. Some individuals may, in fact, consume a diet that contributes more than 10 mg Mn/day without any cause for concern.

2.) I know I am dragging on, but here is an important point about this and all similar studies: I have mentioned this before, but “the dose makes the poison”. Understand that in the last 10 or 20 years the sophistication of detection devices, like lab machinery that is capable of looking for and detecting one lone molecules in a sample of billions and billions of other molecules. This sort of machinery is now common place in most labs. The problem this creates is that it is possible to do a lot of fear generation ‘research’ with that one molecule you find. Besides chemistry class, probably a lot of us missed math class as well . Hard for most to understand ‘the power of numbers’… It is the reason you think you can win the State Lotto when you can not. The difference between 0.0000001 and 0.01 might look like just a few missing Zeros, but it is the difference between traveling to the corner grocery store and traveling to Mars. This same problem exists when looking at billionth of a gram results in ‘studies’ of ‘toxic metals’ in vapor. It is trying to fool you with the numbers. It is trying to make you think you will win the ‘carcinogenic lottery’ and get cancer from puffing on a -e-cigarette when, in fact you can not.

Let’s look at some of these ‘numbers’ in this particular ‘study’ : take the Note from the Table #1 in the paper"

Note: Al, aluminum; As, arsenic; Cd, cadmium; Cr, chromium; Cu, copper; Fe, iron; LOD, limit of detection; Mn, manganese; Ni, nickel; Pb, lead; Sb, antimony; Sn, tin; Ti, titanium; U, uranium; W, tungsten; Zn zinc.

So he is saying he can’t really measure many of these ‘metals’ at detectable levels because the lab machinery is not capable enough. It is what is known as the LOD or Limit of detection. But this is no problem for our fearless researcher, he will just make up a number to substiitue for that undetectable amount: A few paragraphs later he slips in this amazing statement "Concentrations under the LOD were replaced with the LOD divided by 1.41421 (the square root of 2) for analysis.

I could go on for pages on all this, but what’s the point? It is incomprehensible that this sort of ‘research paper’ nonsense is now so close to the public surface. It used to be that these things were ‘peer reviewed’. but no more. Now they are just a form of advertisement for J Hopkins and other, used to be, respected institutions of real science.

It is a sad day for vaping, but a sadder day for ‘science’.


Amen. /All the char.


Just use titan coils and pg\vg vithout aroma)


Even when the main prize is cancer i can’t win the damn lottery.