A Harvard study says that the chemicals that are commonly used to in flavoring e cigarettes may damage our lungs in a way that its ability to fight the dust, dirt and other allergens can be put to risk, thereby increasing risk of diseases like asthma.
The researchers found that two chemicals namely diacetyl and 2, 3 – pentanedione are responsible for the impairment as they affect the functioning of antennae like proturberances. These proturberances are present on 50-75 percent of the cells lining the human airways and are very important contributors in keep the human airway free from dust dirt and mucus thus allowing people to breathe easily without irritation.
Cilia is the first line of defense in lungs and as per the study these chemicals harm it, by altering the gene expression pertaining to the cilia function as well as production.
The study carried out the testing of e-cigarettes and found that 90% of them have the flavoring chemicals diacetyl and 2 as well as 3-pentanedione are present.
The chemical diacetyl is also found in food flavors like butter flavored microwave popcorn, candy as well as baked goods. Though for foods it is not known to be harmful but only when it is inhaled that if turns dangerous.
HOW ARE LUNGS AFFECTED
Impaired cilia function is responsible for lung conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. An associate professor at the Harvard University also mentioned that even though chemicals are used for flavoring e-cigs but it is known as to how they impact the health. This study therefore throws light on the chemicals that are responsible for harming the lungs and how.
The chemical Diacetyl was earlier linked to lung conditions like bronchilitis obliterans, a lung condition also dubbed as popcorn lung for a reason that it was first found in workers of popcorn processing facilities after they inhaled artificial butter flavor.
As per researchers the present standards of safe limits of chemical exposure for workers are not enough and need to change as even low levels of the chemical does affect gene expression.
Thus as per researchers, today e-cigarette users are heating as well as inhaling the flavoring chemicals are in common use and users do not know that they are not tested for inhalation safety as well.
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*Sourced from the Internet