Think nicotine free electronic cigarettes are harmless? Think again.A new study shows that aromas in e-cigs can harm cells to fight human infection.
Electronic cigarettes work by heating a flavored liquid to make a mist that users inhale, or “vape”. These flavored liquids, called e-liquids, usually contain nicotine. But not always. Manufacturers add nicotine to vapers who want a buzz of their e-cigarettes. It’s the same stimulant that real cigarettes deliver. This nicotine — made from tobacco — qualifies most e-cigs as “tobacco products”.
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Nicotine can be useful for adults who are addicted to cigarettes and want to wean. But nicotine can harm children and adolescents. That’s why some young people You can choose to vapour instead of smoking and use products without nicotine. But the new data suggests that e-cigs can still be toxic, even without nicotine.
“ We know that these flavors are really appealing to teenagers,” says Irfan Rahman, he works at the University of Rochester in New York. According to him, studies have shown that one of the reasons why many teenagers try electronic cigarettes is interest in fruity and candy flavored products.
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As a A toxicologist, Rahman studies whether various materials can poison the cells or tissues of the body. His team decided to check if some flavored e-liquids are toxic (i.e. toxic). They tested several common e-liquid flavors. These included cinnamon roll, cotton sweets, melon, pineapple, coconut and cherry.
Such flavors are considered safe in food. This is because after a person swallows them, he is banged into the intestine. But this does not mean that these same chemicals can breathe safely. They could harm parts of the airway, such as the lungs.
Rahman’s team did not expose people to these aromas, in case they were harmful. Instead, they tested e-liquid chemicals on human cells in a dish. This has them helped to judge whether chemicals could also harm cells inside the body.
Answer: Some of the vapor flavors have proven to be toxic to these cells. The researchers published their findings in the January Frontiers in Physiology.
Cells against cinnamon
After a person vape, e-liquid chemicals could pass through the walls of small vessels in the lungs to get into the blood, says Thivanka Muthumalage. He’s a researcher in Rahman’s lab.
Rahman’s team wanted to know what would happen when these chemicals met blood cells. In a series of tests, researchers exposed blood cells directly to aromas. They chose a type of white blood cells called a macrophage (Mak-roh-fayj) .These cells are part of the immune system, which fights the disease. Macrophages track down and “eat” particles that should not be in the bloodstream. These aliens particles could be germs or other things that could make people sick.
The team used dosages of flavoring chemicals similar to what are in e-liquids that you can buy in a store, says Muthumalage. The doses of the experiment could even be lower than people were going to vapor.
To measure the toxicity of each chemical, researchers looked for signs of cell stress and even cell death. A number of e-liquid flavoring chemicals have caused high levels of cell stress or death. These included flavors that taste like butter (these contain pentanedione and acetoine chemicals). They also included flavours that taste vanilla (O-vanillin), cotton candy, caramel (maltol) and cinnamon (cannamaldehyde).
The latter, cannamaldehyde (Sih-Nuh-Maal-Duh-Hide), killed the largest number of cells. And it’s bad. Dead immune cells can’t fight infection, explains Muthumalage.
The findings of his team are supported by a study of 27 March Biology. Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill tested the effects of 148 e-liquids on human cells. When exposed to vapors of certain e-liquid flavors, it showed, fewer of these cells have developed. The worst culprits? Cinnamaldehyde and vanillin.
A Vaping Machine
In a second series of tests, researchers used a “vaping machine” to suck e-liquids to through an e-cigarette. Subsequently, they measured the vapours that had entered the air. These mists are what an e-cig user would usually inhale. Researchers then exposed human cells to these vapors.
Researchers used this machine to mechanically “vaping” e-liquids. The researchers then measured the harmful chemicals that had been released into the air.Irfan Rahman They showed that heating each aroma in an electronic cigarette created harmful levels of molecules that can damage cells. In addition, mixing two or more flavors caused even higher levels of these damaging molecules than each alone heated.
This suggests that breathing multiple e-liquid aromas could be more dangerous than exposure to one at a time.
It’s worrying, says Melanie Prinz. She’s a student who worked on the study in Rahman’s lab. “Teens at parties often spend their devices,” she adds. This means that they could “share and inhale a lot of different flavors”.
The results of Rahman’s laboratory are consistent with the results of another study. He looked at the vapors of e-cigs without nicotine. Here, researchers at the University of California San Francisco studied the urine of teenagers who had vaped e-liquids without nicotine. Researchers looked for toxic chemicals that form when e-liquids are heated. Adolescents had up to three times more than five potentially carcinogenic chemicals in their bodies than those who did not vaped. These findings appear in Pediatrics.
It was the first study to measure toxic chemicals that can enter the body of adolescents who would vapor e-liquids without nicotine.
Causes of Concern
Maciej Goniewicz works at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, where he also studies the health effects of e-cig vapors. Testing the toxicity of e-liquid flavor on cells is extremely important, he says. It helps to identify which chemicals can be “bad actors,” he explains.
If these tests show high toxicity, they could help government agencies decide which products to regulate or even ban. Such data, he adds, could also help manufacturers create safer vape products.
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One of the advantages of studying cells in a dish, rather than studying real people, is that you can limit variables, says Goniewicz. For example, Rochester’s team could omit nicotine, a known bad actor. But in real life, people could vapor a liquid with nicotine one day and another without nicotine the next day. This could make it harder for scientists to unravel the effects of flavors and nicotine.
But cell studies are just one piece of the puzzle. They are good at identifying potentially toxic chemicals. However, they do not tell us about the long-term effects of their exposure. Human studies will — but it takes much longer. A disease may not appear for years or decades after toxic exposure.
In fact, a thorough review revealed that the effects of Long-term vaping on health is not yet clear. An exam is a research document that brings together the results of other studies. This document included more than 800 scientific studies — and found concerns.
For example, he found “moderate evidence” that vaping led to coughing and wheezing in adolescents and worsening asthma. There is also moderate evidence that bind vaping to a short-term increase in blood pressure and harmful stiffening of blood vessels. And the authors of the review found “substantial evidence” that e-cig vapors can damage DNA and cells.
This massive report, published on January 23, was published by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.