Kids who use illegal vapes are inhaling toxic chemicals that can be twice the daily safe amount of lead. The Scottish Greens party has demanded action from retailers following research that discovered e-cigs confiscated from a school in England contained high levels of carcinogenic chemicals such as nickel and chromium.
Dangerous Chemicals Found
The Inter Scientific laboratory in Liverpool analysed 18 illegal vapes and found that levels of nickel were nine times higher than the daily safe limit. Some of the e-liquids contained chemicals commonly found in cigarette smoke. The lead, nickel and chromium were present in the e-liquid, not the heating element as scientists had expected. These levels of lead exposure can lead to behavioural problems and central nervous system effects in children.
Reports of vaping amongst underage teenagers has risen by 50% this year alone. The cheap disposable brightly-coloured, sweet-flavoured products are a major cause for concern due to their appeal for children. The Scottish Government and campaigners have been calling for a ban on single-use vapes and disposable vapes to reduce children’s environmental impact and for their safety.
Lab co-founder, David Lawson, said “None of these should be on the market – they break all the rules on permitted levels of metal. They are the worst set of results I’ve ever seen.” Speaking to the BBC about his findings, Professor Linda Bauld commented, “It will harm their health”. Lead, for example, can affect brain function, cause comas and be associated with intellectual disabilities long-term.”
Take Action to Protect Children
Green MSP and Health spokeswoman, Gillian Mackay is calling for retailers to hide illegally-produced products from visible view, or ban them altogether to slow the growth of the new emergency health concern. Children who are trying vaping products may prefer to purchase them from supermarkets and local shops as they are placed in very visible areas to shoppers. The sale of these products should be better managed to safeguard children.