Toxic metal, leached from e-cigarettes coil, permanetntly scars woman’s lung

Shaney Guadalupe

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Doctors have discovered yet another way that vaping and vaping THC, in particular can damage the lungs: when the metal coil of electronics cigarettes heat up to turn e-liquids into aerosols, toxic metals can leach into into the liquid, leading to rare condition usually only seen in the industrial metal workers. A case report published Wednesday in the European Respiratory Journal describes a 49-year old California woman who had symptoms now known to be associated with the more then 2,000 cases of vaping illnesses nationwide: shortness of the breath, coughing and wheezing. But when pathologists took a close look at the woman’s lung tissue, it didn’t look like typical case of EVALI, or e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury. Instead, they saw damaged cells that had engulfed other lungs cells creating giant cells, a pattern thats typically found in an illness called hard-metal lung disease. The patient a dog walker . by trade had no such exposure. What she did have was the ZenPen brand cape pen she’d been using for six months prior to getting sick. ZenPen do not come with pre-filled cartridges, so users must purchase their e-liquid elsewhere. When the doctors tested the e-liquid left in the device, they found several metals: nickel, aluminum manganese, lead, cobalt and chromium. Inhalation of cobalt in particular has been implicated in the kind of lung damage seen in the California case, Jones said. He’d treated a similar case in a mill worker several years before. Jones and his co-author hypothesize that the metal found in the e-liquid leached from the heating coil in the vape pen. Vaping raises the risk of leaching, because the devices must be heated to much higher temperatures to aerosolize THC than to aerosolize nicotine. Previous research has shown that a greater amount of toxic substance are released as the voltahe needed to heat vape devices increases. The California woman’s lung damage is likely permanent, her doctor said, although her lung function may improve.