(Mirror Daily, United States) – A new study suggests that e-cigarettes may be even more dangerous than previously expected. A group of scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that the electronic devices produce more cancer-causing chemicals as temperatures get higher.
Researchers explained that the phenomenon is tied to a pair of solvents that are included in almost all commercial e-juices. The two solvents release toxic chemicals such as acrolein which can cause eye and throat irritation and formaldehyde, a well-known cancer-causing substance.
According to the new study, the levels of these substances are higher when the devices get hotter.
In the study, researchers used an e-cig-like device that simulated vaping to test three types of e-cigarette juices. The team tested e-cig emissions at different power settings. The experiment mimicked vaping conditions in single-heating-coil e-cigarettes and double-coil e-cigs.
Study authors took puffs from both devices and the vapor was tested for harmful substances through chromatotherapy. The tests showed that the hotter the electronic devices got with use the higher the levels of harmful emissions were.
Cheaper e-cigs gave off 0.46 micrograms of toxic chemicals for each puff at the beginning and 8.7 micrograms per puff when the devices reached their hottest temperature, about 20 puffs later.
Double-coil devices released lower levels of carcinogens, and researchers believe that the duo of coils prevented them from getting too hot.
Study authors found that 20 puffs are as toxic as smoking an entire regular cigarette. The experiment also revealed that levels of cancer-causing chemicals and respiratory irritants grew with usage.
For example, aldehyde levels jumped 60 percent after nine cycles. Furthermore, 31 toxic elements were detected in e-cig vapor. The findings are consistent with past studies which had found that the electronic devices are a source of cancer-causing formaldehyde just like regular cigarettes are.
However, the latest research found two extra substances that prior studies haven’t found: glycidol and propylene oxide, which may also cause cancer.
Nevertheless, the recent findings challenge previous studies that underscored the benefits of e-cigarettes. For example, one comprehensive study published by the Royal College of Physicians showed earlier this year that e-cigarettes could help smokers kick the habit.
Berkeley researchers said that their study suggests that regular tobacco products are “super unhealthy,” while e-cigs are plain “unhealthy” so they should not be touted as a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes.
Image Source: Flickr