Lead and Smoke

Lead and smoke in the news

Apr 30, 2024. Medical Daily.com. Teens At Risk Of Exposure To Toxic Lead And Uranium From Frequent Vaping: Study "Although vaping has been considered a safer option compared to smoking cigarettes, researchers now warn that regular use of e-cigarettes carries its own set of risks. Teenagers who frequently vape may face increased exposure to harmful metals like lead and uranium, which could potentially impact brain and organ development adversely, a new study revealed. Based on the findings published in the journal Tobacco Control, the researchers recommend the implementation of regulations and prevention initiatives specifically aimed at teenagers." 

Feb. 19, 2024. cleveland.com. Many of Ohio’s marijuana rule changes will likely come via administrative rule, not legislation, lawmaker says. "With Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens roadblocking legislation to alter the state’s new recreational marijuana program, the House’s point person on the issue now predicts most of the changes state officials are seeking will be put in effect via administrative rule instead. [    ] Lt. Gov. Jon Husted’s office is currently soliciting public comments through Feb. 27 on a package of proposed marijuana rules. They include slashing fees for medical marijuana users and caregivers and setting a September deadline for licensing dispensaries and other recreational marijuana facilities, though it wouldn’t necessarily mean sales would start right away. Problems have plagued the opening of medical dispensaries, possibly foretelling issues that could arise for new recreational facilities.

Several recent studies

The contribution of secondhand tobacco smoke to blood lead levels in US children and adolescents: a cross-sectional analysis of NHANES 2015–2018. Alexander Obeng, Taehyun Roh, Anisha Aggarwal, Kido Uyasmasi & Genny Carrillo BMC Public Health volume 23, Article number: 1129 (2023) Background: Lead is a major developmental neurotoxicant in children, and tobacco smoke has been suggested as a source of lead exposure in vulnerable populations. This study evaluates the contribution of secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) to blood lead levels (BLLs) in children and adolescents.

September 13, 2023. Clinical Advisor. Secondhand Smoke Increases Lead Levels in Children. "Secondhand smoke may be an important but overlooked source of chronic lead exposure in kids and adolescents. That is the key finding of our recent study, published in the journal BMC Public Health. We analyzed national data on blood lead levels and secondhand smoke exposure in 2815 US children and teenagers ages 6 to 19 years old from 2015 to 2018. We looked at levels of lead and a nicotine metabolite – a substance known as cotinine produced in the body’s chemical process that forms when tobacco smoke is inhaled. Levels of cotinine indicate exposure to tobacco smoke."

2023 Sep 25. Environ Health Perspect. Untested, Unsafe? Cannabis Users Show Higher Lead and Cadmium Levels "Cannabis belongs to a class of plants known as hyperaccumulators because their tissues can accumulate metals from soil, water, fertilizers, and other sources at levels hundreds or thousands of times greater than is normal for most plants. Cannabis cultivars grown for fiber, commonly called hemp, may even be planted strategically to remove toxic metals from soil. Yet this same property represents a potential health risk in cannabis plants grown for human consumption, also called marijuana, whether through smoking or concentration in edibles and other products. Now, a large new cross-sectional study in Environmental Health Perspectives reports evidence of associations between self-reported marijuana use and markers of both lead and cadmium in the body." Full study here.

Older studies

Lead Poisoning Due to Adulterated Marijuana. Clinical and Laboratory Characteristics of 16 Patients with Lead Intoxication. "As a consequence of strict regulations, lead intoxication has not occurred in Germany in recent decades. Recently, during a period of 3 to 4 months, 29 patients (16 to 33 years of age) were admitted to four different hospitals in the greater Leipzig area (population, approximately 650,000) with classic signs and symptoms of lead intoxication." 

Studies in process

Aug 15, 2022, Center for Health, Work & Environment. Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) have received funding from the Institute for Cannabis Research (ICR) to study the potential exposure to heavy metals from smoking or vaping cannabis.  The three-year study aims to evaluate the risk of health effects from cannabis consumption (smoking or vaping) contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, nickel, cadmium, manganese, uranium. It is the first known human health risk assessment to evaluate the large number of heavy metals that may be present in cannabis flower, concentrates and vape devices.