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Harvard Scientists Find Microbial Toxins in Juul Pods

Scientists at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found traces of microbial toxins— endotoxin and glucan— in Juul’s nicotine vaping pods.

According to a study on these findings in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the levels of endotoxin were found to be below the limit of detection.

However, they did find that 46 percent of the 54 Juul pods they analyzed contained detectable traces of glucan. Glucan can cause airway inflammation and lead to long-term damage of the lungs.

Researchers found the tobacco and menthol flavors to be far more contaminated with glucan than other pod flavors.

The news comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on it is banning all fruit and mint-flavored vaping pods in order to stave off use of vaping products by teen users.

However, under the new FDA rules, tobacco and menthol— two flavors that were found to be most contaminated with glucan— will still be available for sale.

The researchers aren’t sure why this is happening, but they are calling for stricter rules regarding the regulation and sale of these products. Consumers should not assume that these products are any safer than cigarettes.

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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers’ State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!

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