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Title: Effects of e-liquid flavor, nicotine content, and puff duration on metal emissions from electronic cigarettes.

Authors: Zhao, Di; Ilievski, Vesna; Slavkovich, Vesna; Olmedo, Pablo; Domingo-Relloso, Arce; Rule, Ana M; Kleiman, Norman J; Navas-Acien, Ana; Hilpert, Markus

Published In Environ Res, (2022 Mar)

Abstract: Vaping is the action of inhaling and exhaling aerosols from electronic cigarettes. The aerosols contain various amounts of toxic chemicals, including metals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate factors that can influence metal levels, including flavor and nicotine content in the e-liquid, and puff duration. Aerosols were collected from both closed-system (cartridge-based) and open-system e-cigarettes using e-liquids with different flavors (fruit, tobacco, and menthol), nicotine content (0, 6, 24, and 59 mg/mL), and different puff durations (1, 2, and 4 s). The concentrations of 14 metals in the collected aerosols were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. Aerosol concentrations of As, Fe, and Mn varied significantly among fruit, tobacco, and menthol flavors in both closed-system and open-system devices. Concentrations of Al, Fe, Sn, and U were significantly higher in tobacco or menthol flavored aerosols compared to fruit flavors in closed-system devices. Aerosol W levels were significantly higher in tobacco flavored aerosols compared to fruit flavors in open-system devices. Concentrations of As, Fe, and Mn were higher in tobacco flavored aerosols compared to menthol flavors in both types of devices. The median Pb concentration decreased significantly from 15.8 to 0.88 μg/kg when nicotine content increased from 0 to 59 mg/mL, and median Ni concentration was 9.60 times higher in aerosols with nicotine of 59 mg/mL compared to 24 mg/mL (11.9 vs. 1.24 μg/kg) for closed-system devices. No significant differences were observed in aerosol metal concentrations for different puff durations. Aerosol metal concentrations varied widely between different flavors and nicotine content but not by puff duration. Flavor and nicotine content of the e-liquid could be potential factors in metal emissions. Some elements showed higher concentrations under certain conditions, highlighting the urgent need of developing strict product regulations, especially on e-liquid composition and nicotine content to inform e-cigarette users about metal exposure through vaping.

PubMed ID: 34717948 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication

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