Research warns of lead and uranium exposure risks from teen vaping

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Apr 29 2024BMJ

Frequent teen vaping mightiness boost nan consequence of vulnerability to lead and uranium, perchance harming encephalon and organ development, suggests investigation published online successful nan journal Tobacco Control.

The findings underscore nan request for implementation of regulations and prevention efforts targeting teens, stress nan researchers.

Vaping is celebrated pinch teens. In 2022, an estimated 14% of US precocious schoolhouse students-;around 2.14 million-;and much than 3% of mediate schoolhouse students-;around 380,000-;reported vaping successful nan preceding month, statement nan researchers.

Certain metals person been identified successful e-cigarette aerosols and liquids. Their absorption is particularly harmful during periods of development, opportunity nan researchers, citing investigation showing that accrued levels of vulnerability are linked to cognitive impairment, behavioral disturbances, respiratory complications, cancer, and cardiovascular illness successful children.

The researchers wanted to find retired whether perchance toxic metallic levels mightiness beryllium associated pinch vaping wave and whether spirit mightiness beryllium influential.

They drew connected responses to nan nationally typical Wave 5 (December 2018 to November 2019) of nan PATH Youth Study, involving 1607 teens betwixt nan ages of 13 and 17. After exclusions, 200 vapers were included successful nan last analysis. 

Their urine samples were tested for nan beingness of cadmium, lead, and uranium, and vaping wave was designated arsenic occasional (1–5 days/month), intermittent (6–19 days), and predominant (20+ days).

Vape flavors were grouped into 4 mutually exclusive categories: menthol aliases mint; fruit; sweet, specified arsenic cocoa aliases desserts; and others, specified arsenic tobacco, clove aliases spice, and alcoholic aliases non-alcoholic drinks.

Among nan 200 exclusive vapers (63% female), 65 reported occasional use, 45 intermittent, and 81 predominant use; vaping wave accusation was missing for 9. 

The mean number of caller puffs per time accrued successful tandem pinch vaping frequency: occasional = 0.9 puffs; intermittent = 7.9 puffs; predominant = 27 puffs.

In nan preceding 30 days 1 successful 3 (33%) vapers said they utilized menthol/mint flavors; half (50%) favored consequence flavors; conscionable complete 15% opted for saccharine flavors; and 2% utilized different flavors.

Analysis of nan urine samples showed that lead levels were 40% higher among intermittent vapers, and 30% higher among predominant vapers than they were among occasional vapers. Urinary uranium levels were besides doubly arsenic precocious among predominant vapers than among occasional vapers 

Comparison of spirit types indicated 90% higher uranium levels among vapers who preferred saccharine flavors than among those opting for menthol/mint. 

No statistically important differences were recovered successful urinary cadmium levels betwixt vaping wave aliases spirit types.

This is an observational study, and arsenic specified nary definitive conclusions tin beryllium drawn astir toxic metallic levels and vaping frequency/flavors, admit nan researchers, who also caution that nan levels of toxic metals successful vapes will alteration by marque and type of vaporizer utilized (tank, pod, mod).

Although urinary levels bespeak chronic exposure, they were assessed astatine conscionable 1 constituent successful time, added to which nan beingness of uranium successful nan urine whitethorn beryllium attributable to various sources including biology vulnerability from earthy deposits, business activities, and dietary intake, they add.

"None nan less,these compounds are known to origin harm successful humans," they write. Of peculiar interest were nan accrued uranium levels recovered wrong nan saccharine spirit category, they add. 

"Candy-flavored e-cigarette products dress up a important proportionality of teen vapers, and saccharine sensation successful e-cigarettes tin suppress nan harsh effects of nicotine and heighten its reinforcing effects, resulting successful heightened encephalon cue-reactivity." 

And they conclude: "E-cigarette usage during adolescence whitethorn summation nan likelihood of metallic exposure, which could adversely impact encephalon and organ development.

"These findings telephone for further research, vaping regulation, and targeted nationalist wellness interventions to mitigate nan imaginable harms of e-cigarette use, peculiarly among adolescents."

Source:

Journal reference:

Kochvar, A., et al. (2024). Biomarkers of metallic vulnerability successful teen e-cigarette users: correlations pinch vaping wave and flavouring. Tobacco Control. doi.org/10.1136/tc-2023-058554.