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Study shows metallic content of second-hand e-cig vapor falls ‘below detection limit’

Tobacco control groups often claim that further research is needed before they will support and endorse vaping as an effective tool for tobacco harm reduction. Even though this research has already been compiled many times over, a new scientific study conducted right here in the United States provides further proof that second-hand e-cig vapor is almost entirely nonmetallic in nature.

The study published by Dr. Dominic L. Palazzolo, a pro-vaping advocate and world-class scientist from the Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, focusses on nine specific trace metals commonly found in the second-hand smoke of combustible cigarettes. Those metals include:

  • Aluminum
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Nickel
  • Lead
  • And Zinc.

After conducting an extensive combination of tests related to air quality, the Palazzolo team determined that the associated levels of each of the nine metals was so negligible that his state-of-the-art equipment (something called a Thermo Scientific Hamilton SafeAire II) could not accurately measure them. The study entitled Trace Metals Derived from Electronic Cigarette (ECIG) Generated Aerosol: Potential Problem of ECIG Devices That Contain Nickel is readily available via Frontiers in Physiology.

“The contents of Al, As, Cu, Fe, and Mn on smoke-exposed MCE membranes were also significantly higher (p < 0.05) than their content on aerosol-exposed membranes. The contents per cigarette equivalent of metals in E-liquid before aerosolization were negligible compared to amounts of aerosolized E-liquid, except for Fe (0.002 μg before and 0.001 μg after). Elemental analysis of the core assembly reveals the presence of several of these trace metals, especially Al, Fe, Ni, and Zn.”

The Palazzolo team began by asking for help from a sample group of volunteers. Both smokers and vapers were selected. The smoking group was asked to smoke a Marlboro cigarette in an enclosed laboratory separate from the vaping group. As each of the volunteers entered the room separately and began smoking, the scientists would measure the related metallic levels before analyzing the results for a mathematical average.

Meanwhile, each of the participants in the vaping group were given the same three-piece vaping device and the identical brand of e-liquid manufactured with 7ml liquid nicotine extract. The e-liquid was comprised of 80% PG (propylene glycol) and 20 percent VG (vegetable glycerin). All vaping devices were set to vaporize the vape juice at a standard operating temperature of 350 degrees Celsius. The vapers were then sent one-by-one into a second and separate laboratory where the same analysis of air quality and metallic content was analyzed using the same equipment and scientific protocols.