The usage of electronic cigarettes (ECs) has surged since their invention two decades ago. However, to date, the health effects of EC aerosol exposure are still not well understood because of insufficient data on the chemical composition of EC aerosols and the corresponding evidence of health risks upon exposure. Herein, we quantified the metals in primary and secondhand aerosols generated by three brands of ECs. By combining aerosol filter sampling and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), we assessed the mass of metals as a function of EC flavoring, nicotine concentration, device power, puff duration, and aging of the devices. The masses of Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Cu, and Zn were consistently high across all brands in the primary and secondhand aerosols, some of which were above the regulated maximum daily intake amount, especially for Cr and Ni with mass (nanograms per 10 puffs) emitted at 117 ± 54 and 50 ± 24 (JUUL), 125 ± 77 and 219 ± 203 (VOOPOO), and 33 ± 10 and 27 ± 2 (Vapor4Life). Our analysis indicates that the metals are predominantly released from the EC liquid, potentially through mechanisms such as bubble bursting or the vaporization of metal-organic compounds. High metal contents were also observed in simulated secondhand aerosols, generally 80-90% of those in primary aerosols. Our findings provide a more detailed understanding of the metal emission characteristics of EC for assessing its health effects and policymaking
K. F. Kapiamba et al., "Examining Metal Contents in Primary and Secondhand Aerosols Released by Electronic Cigarettes," Chemical Research in Toxicology, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 954 - 962, American Chemical Society, Jun 2022.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrestox.1c00411
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
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20 Jun 2022