Study Finds Vapes Contain Harmful Bacteria And Fungi Toxins That Cause Lung Conditions

Alfie PowellAlfie Powell in News, World
Published 24.04.19

Every day when I get off the train back from work, I see the same thing.

There’s always a couple – a man and woman – walking a few paces ahead of me, each other in one hand, and a vape in the other. Couples who vape together stay together.

They walk hand in hand, talking and vaping until I eventually get fed up with having a cloud of pure sugar and nicotine and overtake them.


That’s my every day and while I’m not a fan of the smell, I was more or less okay with second-hand vaping. That was until I found this out…

As it turns out, vape liquids contain bacteria and fungi that could cause lung infections and asthma, according to a recent study.

Harvard researches found that a quarter of the 75 vape liquid brands in the US contained the bacteria, with four fifths of the brands having the fungal contamination. The study included both sealed and refillable products.


Researched looked for chemical markers known for triggering conditions like asthma. These include bacterial endotoxins produced by the E coli bug, as well as the β-D-glucan, part of the cell wall of invasive fungi.

Senior author and environmental geneticist Professor David Christiani said that these fungi and bacteria have been shown to cause “acute and chronic respiratory effects”. He went on to say:

Finding these toxins in e-cigarette products adds to the growing concerns about the potential for adverse respiratory effects in users.


Vaping is still less harmful than smoking, as though it does contain nicotine, it doesn’t contain tobacco, which causes a dangerously high amount of cancer-causing chemicals when burnt.

The general thoughts toward vapes by concerned parties though, are that they haven’t been around long enough for us to see the long-term effects.

A scary thought but I suppose we’ll know in 30 years.

Images via Getty