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File photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Some e-cigarette products popular in the U.S. are contaminated with bacterial and fungal toxins, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers found in tests for a new study.

Details: Researchers tested 75 products, including single-use cartridges and refillable e-liquids — 27% contained traces of endotoxin, a microbial agent found on Gram-negative bacteria, and 81% had traces of glucan, found in most fungi. Endotoxin concentrations were higher in fruit-flavored products, indicating raw materials used in flavor production may be a contamination source.

"Airborne Gram-negative bacterial endotoxin and fungal-derived glucans have been shown to cause acute and chronic respiratory effects in occupational and environmental settings. Finding these toxins in e-cigarette products adds to the growing concerns about the potential for adverse respiratory effects in users."
— Professor David Christiani, Senior study author

The big picture: The researchers note in the study, published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives Wednesday, contamination of the products could have occurred at any point during the production of the ingredients or after the e-cigarette product was finished.

Between the Lines: Cotton wicks used in e-cigarette cartridges may be one potential source of contamination, they hypothesised. Endotoxin and glucan are both known contaminants of cotton fibers.

The other side: A February study found e-cigarettes are an effective way for smokers to quit smoking — twice as effective as other nicotine products like gum and patches.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.