Dangerous bacteria and fungus toxins found in e-cigarettes
Bacterial and fungal toxins linked to lung disease may be contaminating popular vaping products, research suggests.
US scientists who tested 75 e-cigarette single-use cartridges and refill liquids discovered traces of harmful bug chemicals in 27pc.
Glucan, a sugary molecule found in most fungi, was detected in 81pc of the products.
Exposure to the toxins has been associated with a host of health problems, including asthma, impaired lung function and inflammation, according to the researchers.
The microbial endotoxin was from "Gram negative" bacteria, which have a tough outer coating making them especially resistant to antibiotics.
Professor David Christiani, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, who led the team, said: "Airborne Gram negative bacterial endotoxin and fungal-derived glucans have been shown to cause acute and chronic respiratory effects in occupational and environmental settings.
"Finding these toxins in e-cigarette products adds to the growing concerns about the potential for adverse respiratory effects in users."
Ireland is the third-highest spender on vaping products per capita, according to Euromonitor.
The news comes shortly after a leading British expert accused Public Health England (PHE) of ignoring mounting evidence about the harmful effects of e-cigarettes.
PHE has campaigned for smokers to switch to e-cigarettes on the basis that they are 95pc less harmful to consumers than tobacco products.
This figure was disputed by Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.