Tests on popular vapes have revealed staggering amounts of nicotine plus chemicals including arsenic and formaldehyde.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk asked parliament’s Health and Environment Committee to perform the tests amid concerns consumers were unaware what the vapes contain.
The Committee continues to evaluate their availability and use among children.
The Committee analysed the chemical composition of 17 e-liquid samples currently available of the Queensland vape market.
Lab tests were performed for the presence of nicotine plus other substances including carbonyl compounds, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides and heavy metals.
Key findings include:
- All samples tested positive for nicotine.
- The nicotine content ranged from trace levels (less than 200 mg/kg) to 47,000 mg/kg. All samples contained at least two carbonyl compounds: formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Formaldehyde is classified as a group 1 human carcinogen.
- All samples contained Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs are typically used in the manufacture of paints, pharmaceuticals and refrigerants.
- All samples contained arsenic and zinc. Other toxic heavy metals included lead, mercury, nickel, chromium, antimony, aluminium, iron, nickel, barium, manganese, copper, strontium and vanadium.
Under Queensland law, vaping devices containing nicotine may only be obtained from a pharmacy using a prescription.
Vapes containing nicotine sourced from retailers are illegal.
A number of these heavy metals are known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic to reproduction and development and cause neurological anomalies.
The federal government has announced a ban on all but vapes prescribed by health professionals.
Quotes attributable to the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:
“I asked the Health and Environment Committee to look at this issue and these results are staggering.
“There are people who might think vaping is safer than smoking or, indeed, harmless.
“These test results should make those people think again.”
Quotes attributable to Health Minister Shannon Fentiman:
“Frankly, these results are confronting.
“We know vapes are becoming more popular, especially with younger people, and these results make it clear that what is inside them is extremely dangerous.
“This week, our government passed a bill to strengthen controls on smoking and vaping, including harsher penalties for anyone selling or storing illegal tobacco.”