This article originally appeared on Stourbridge News UK. To view the original article, click here.
Used vapes gathered at Baxter College in Kidderminster were tested in a laboratory.
The results showed children using them could be inhaling more than twice the daily safe amount of lead, and nine times the safe amount of nickel, BBC News reported.
In total, 18 vapes were analysed by the Inter Scientific laboratory in Liverpool, with most being found to be illegal and had not gone through any kind of testing before being sold.
Lab co-founder David Lawson said: “In 15 years of testing, I have never seen lead in a device.
“None of these should be on the market – they break all the rules on permitted levels of metal.
“They are the worst set of results I’ve ever seen.”
What are the effects of high levels of lead and nickel?
High levels of lead exposure in children can affect the central nervous system and brain development, according to the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, University of Nottingham epidemiology professor John Britton said of inhaling nickel and chromium: “Chrome and nickel are allergens and metal particles in general in the bloodstream can trigger blood clotting and can exacerbate cardiovascular disease.”
“The carbonyls are mildly carcinogenic and so with sustained use will increase the risk of cancer – but in legal products, the levels of all of these things is extremely low so the lifetime risk to the individual is extremely small.”
In the vapes tested by the lab, there were 12 micrograms of lead per gram, which is 2.4 times above the safe exposure level.
Meanwhile, for nickel it was 9.6 times above safe levels and for chromium it was 6.6 times above safe levels.
Additionally, tests showed that these elements were in the e-liquid itself rather than just the heating element.
It is thought vapes are being used widely by secondary school children and Baxter College is not alone in trying to stop them vaping during school hours.
Headteacher Mat Carpenter has installed sensors in the school toilets to try to reduce opportunities to vape.
BBC News added: “The government has allocated £3m to tackle the sale of illegal vapes in England.
“It wants to fund more test purchases and have the products removed from shops and is calling for evidence to help cut the number of children accessing vapes.”