More Problems for E-Cigarettes: Researchers Find Microbial Toxins in Products
We have previously discussed emerging evidence that vaping is leading to serious lung injuries and even death in some cases, including here in Texas. The only company linked to these products that has been sued for wrongful death thus far is Juul Labs and, recently, an analysis conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that e-cigarette products made by the company were also contaminated with a microbial toxin that can cause long-term lung damage. Specifically, they contained endotoxin and glucan; bacterial and fungal toxins, and they were found in both the e-cigarette cartridges and e-liquids. While the research indicates that endotoxin levels in Juul’s products are below the level of detection, the menthol and tobacco flavors were actually significantly more contaminated with glucan compared to other flavors and they found that almost 50 percent of the pods analyzed contained it.
However, it isn’t just the Juul products that contain the toxins: Harvard researchers also found that vaping e-liquid and cartridges with high nicotine made by the top e-cigarette brands also contained bacteria and/or fungi linked to lung issues. Specifically, bacterial contamination was found in almost 25 percent and fungal contamination in more than 80 percent of the products tested.
The Risks We Know About
Chronic exposure to glucan can lead to long-term lung damage because it causes inflammation in the airways as well as asthma and reduced lung function. In addition, according to recent studies, many minors are completely unaware that they are inhaling nicotine and ingesting cancer-causing chemicals when they use these products. It is well-established that nicotine delivery like this is very addictive and can lead to using combustible tobacco products.
There is no question that, at a minimum, additional research and regulation is necessary if any of these vaping products are going to be used by consumers. We simply do not know what the long-term effects are associated with cumulative use. It is also of concern that these products are lacking in basic warning labels that properly notify consumers about their risks and there is an overall lack of “standardization,” as the contents of each product vary too widely.
If You Have Been Harmed, Contact Our Texas Personal Injury Attorneys
When it comes to negligence like this, it arguably doesn’t just involve the products themselves, but the marketing as well: There is no question that e-cigarettes should not be actively promoted as a healthy alternative to help you stop smoking when we know so little about how they are affecting the human body; especially in light of recent injuries and deaths documented.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to negligence, contact our Houston wrongful death attorneys at The West Law Office today to find out how we can help.