Some use them to get rid of tobacco addiction, others like a toy to hold in their fingers to release stress and tension. The electronic cigarettes, however, may not be as safe as you think. Their vapors are potentially dangerous for DNA , as much as those released by traditional cigarettes. They contain chemical substances that damage the genetic instructions of cells, increasing the risk of mutations and tumors .
Chemists at the University of Connecticut discovered it, thanks to a new low-cost 3D-printed device , which functions as a miniature laboratory, capable of testing the danger of cigarette vapors on enzymes and human DNA placed on a small chip .
Electronic vs traditional
The study , published in the journal ACS Sensors , examined the fumes of electronic blondes considering that 20 puffs (called ” svapate ” in jargon ) are more or less equivalent to a traditional cigarette. The fumes, sucked through a technique of artificial inhalation that mimics the natural one, have been trapped in a cotton “cork”. Then they were poured into a small carbon chip , containing micro-wells full of enzymes that metabolize toxic substances just like in the human body . The products of this transformation then came into contact with human DNA molecules, showing within just 5 minutes damage caused, expressed through light signals.
The test, conducted on the vapors of 20, 60 and 100 vaporizes of electronic cigarettes, show that these devices are not as safe as you think. E-CIGs loaded with nicotine-based liquid can damage DNA as much as traditional cigarettes without a filter . Those loaded with liquids without nicotine, on the other hand, were dangerous as much as the classic filter cigarettes, probably due to the chemical additives present in the liquid.