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E-cigarette often contains traces of microbes and fungi

Popular electronic cigarettes often contain traces of harmful bacteria and fungi. That’s according to an analysis of popular e-cigarettes by Harvard University.

The researchers collected 75 electronic cigarettes from the most popular brands in the US. They examined these for traces of endotoxin, a component of gram-negative bacteria, and glucan, a component of many fungi.

The two substances were found to be common: 17 of the 75 products (23 percent) contained traces of endotoxins, while no fewer than 61 of the 75 samples examined (81 percent) showed traces of glucan. Exposure to both substances is associated with a wide range of conditions including asthma, impaired lung function and inflammation.

Fruit flavour

The analysis found that mold spores were more prevalent in tobacco and menthol flavored products, while higher concentrations of endotoxins were found in fruit flavored varieties.

“Both substances are known to have acute and chronic effects on the respiratory system,” said David Christiani, professor of Environmental Genetics. “The fact that we find these toxins in e-cigarettes only raises concerns about the negative effects of these products on breathing.”

Also chemicals

Previous research had already shown that the flavors in e-cigarettes often contain dangerous chemical additives. For example, nearly three quarters contain butanedione, a flavoring associated with lung disease.Visit for e liquids for more information. The additives actually make vaping more harmful than smoking, according to some studies.

“So e-cigarette users are not only exposed to harmful chemicals, but also to biological contaminants such as endotoxins and glucan,” said study researcher Mi-Sun Lee, lead author of the study in Environmental Health Perspectives. “These results should be taken into account when developing new e-cigarette policies.