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Topic: Detection of heavy metals in urine  (Read 214 times)

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Offline Bruchpilot_Sim

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Detection of heavy metals in urine
« on: July 28, 2019, 11:46:53 PM »
I've recently been in a discussion with my friends whether vaping is bad for you. Their argument was that it's not proven yet. I found this one article that was saying something about heavy metals in the urine of vapers.
(https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/14/18141057/electronic-cigarette-health-toxic-chemical-exposures-heavy-metals)
I was wondering if there is any chemical way to verify that for myself . I have a large variety of chemicals in my "lab" just not sure how what a good detection reaction for heavy metals is since I usually like avoiding to work with them for safety reasons.

Thanks in advance.

Offline wildfyr

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Re: Detection of heavy metals in urine
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2019, 08:11:54 AM »
ICP-MS

Offline pcm81

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Re: Detection of heavy metals in urine
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2019, 10:10:56 AM »
I helped few friends of mine quit smoking via vaping, hence have interest in the subject. To be honest, the heavy metal thing sounds bogus. The only metal part that is likely to be the donor is the heating element, which is usually made from stainless steel, nichrome or similar metal. Not seeing any "heavy" metals in the list. Furthermore the oxidation of the heating element with subsequent ejection of metal oxide will occur at elevated temperature, when heating element is not properly cooled by ejuice. If that happens you will have a mean dry hit and won't be able to actually vape with malfunctioning heating element like that.

Offline Corribus

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Re: Detection of heavy metals in urine
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2019, 10:27:37 AM »
The original article is easy to read - you can judge for yourself and also see how it was measured.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2718096?widget=personalizedcontent&previousarticle=0

As for where the metals come from, it doesn't have to come from the device. The fluid that is aerosolized could already have a detectable concentration of various metals, which would be aerosolized along with the liquid. Obviously it's not bogus - the data are the data. It's also good to keep in mind that the results are just correlations. It's entirely possible that people who vape have higher metal concentrations in their urine than non-vapers for other reasons not related to vaping itself. E.g., vapers tend to live in areas with higher metal concentrations in soils (just throwing out a possibility). I didn't read the study, so don't know if they controlled for other factors such as this.

In any case, I tell my daughter that the only thing a person should be taking into their lungs on a consistent basis is air, and even that can be hazardous depending on where you live. If you are inhaling concentrated chemical vapors regularly, do we really need to be surprised that this might carry with it negative potential health outcomes?
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline pcm81

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Re: Detection of heavy metals in urine
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2019, 07:31:25 PM »
The original article is easy to read - you can judge for yourself and also see how it was measured.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2718096?widget=personalizedcontent&previousarticle=0

As for where the metals come from, it doesn't have to come from the device. The fluid that is aerosolized could already have a detectable concentration of various metals, which would be aerosolized along with the liquid. Obviously it's not bogus - the data are the data. It's also good to keep in mind that the results are just correlations. It's entirely possible that people who vape have higher metal concentrations in their urine than non-vapers for other reasons not related to vaping itself. E.g., vapers tend to live in areas with higher metal concentrations in soils (just throwing out a possibility). I didn't read the study, so don't know if they controlled for other factors such as this.

In any case, I tell my daughter that the only thing a person should be taking into their lungs on a consistent basis is air, and even that can be hazardous depending on where you live. If you are inhaling concentrated chemical vapors regularly, do we really need to be surprised that this might carry with it negative potential health outcomes?

Full disclosure: I scanned through the article, i did not dig deep intro it. What garbed my attention is that the vape users were not claimed to have ever smoked.The study identifies 4 groups based on current behavior, but only the "never smoke" group includes data from earlier life. In other words the vape only group of people could have subjects that have been smoking for 20 years, built up a ton of nasty chemicals in their body and are now contributing to statistical data of "vape only" user group because the now just vape.

Offline Corribus

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Re: Detection of heavy metals in urine
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2019, 10:52:34 AM »
The authors do acknowledge this possibility:

"Metals have long half-lives (ie, years) and may come from sources other than tobacco exposure; thus, biomarker concentrations may reflect exposures from prior use of tobacco products and cigarette smoking (not necessarily e-cigarette use)."

They cite a reference for this statement (13). You may check it out if you are particularly interested in this topic.
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

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