Microbial contaminants found in popular e-cigarettes
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    (e-cigarette) products sold in the U.S. were contaminated with bacterial
    and fungal toxins, according to new research from Harvard T.H. Chan
    School of Public Health.

    The study, which examined 75 popular e-cigarette products—cartridges
    (single use) and e-liquids (refillable material)—found that 23%
    contained traces of endotoxin, a microbial agent found on Gram-negative
    bacteria, voopoo vape
    and that 81% contained traces of glucan, which is found in the cell
    walls of most fungi. Exposure to these microbial toxins has been
    associated with myriad health problems in humans, including asthma,
    reduced lung function, and inflammation.

    “Airborne Gram-negative bacterial endotoxin and fungal-derived glucans
    have been shown to cause acute and chronic respiratory effects in
    occupational and environmental settings,” said David Christiani, Elkan
    Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics and senior author of the
    study. “Finding these toxins in e-cigarette products adds to the growing
    concerns about the potential for adverse respiratory effects in users.”

    The use of e-cigarettes has been steadily climbing in recent years,
    especially among high school and middle school students. It’s estimated
    that more than three million high school students used e-cigarettes in
    2018, up from 220,000 in 2011. Previous research from Harvard Chan
    School has shown that chemicals linked with severe respiratory disease
    are found in common e-cigarette flavors. Moreover, research by HSPH
    investigators conducted over many decades has shown chronic lung
    impairment in populations exposed to airborne biological contaminants.
    Yet, according to the authors, no research exists on the potential
    contamination of e-cigarettes with microbes or microbial toxins.

    For this study, the researchers selected 37 e-cigarette cartridges,
    sometimes referred to as “cigalikes,” and 38 e-liquid products, which
    can be used to refill certain cartridges, from the ten top-selling U.S.
    brands. The products were classified into four different flavor
    categories: tobacco, menthol, fruit, and other. All of the products were
    then screened for the presence of endotoxin and glucan.

    The findings showed that 17 of 75 products (23image contained detectable concentrations of endotoxin and that 61 of 75 products (81image
    contained detectable concentrations of glucan. Further analysis showed
    that cartridge samples had 3.2 times higher concentrations of glucan
    than the e-liquid samples. Glucan concentrations were also significantly
    higher in tobacco- and menthol-flavored products than in fruit-flavored
    products. The study also found that endotoxin concentrations were
    higher in fruit-flavored products, indicating that raw materials used in
    the production of flavors might be a source of microbial

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