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Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2014 Jul;217(6):628-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.11.003. Epub 2013 Dec 6.

Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) impairs indoor air quality and increases FeNO levels of e-cigarette consumers.

Author information

1
Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, Department of Chemical Safety and Toxicology, Pfarrstrasse 3, 80538 Munich, Germany. Electronic address: wolfgang.schober@lgl.bayern.de.
2
Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, Department of Chemical Safety and Toxicology, Pfarrstrasse 3, 80538 Munich, Germany.
3
Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, Department of Cosmetics and Tobacco Products, Veterinärstrasse 2, 85764 Oberschleissheim, Germany.
4
Bavarian Environment Agency, Bürgermeister-Ulrich-Strasse 160, 86179 Augsburg, Germany.
5
Institute for Occupational and Social Medicine, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany.
6
Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Inner City Clinic, University Hospital of Munich, Ziemssenstrasse 1, 80336 Munich, Germany.

Abstract

Despite the recent popularity of e-cigarettes, to date only limited data is available on their safety for both users and secondhand smokers. The present study reports a comprehensive inner and outer exposure assessment of e-cigarette emissions in terms of particulate matter (PM), particle number concentrations (PNC), volatile organic compounds (VOC), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), carbonyls, and metals. In six vaping sessions nine volunteers consumed e-cigarettes with and without nicotine in a thoroughly ventilated room for two hours. We analyzed the levels of e-cigarette pollutants in indoor air and monitored effects on FeNO release and urinary metabolite profile of the subjects. For comparison, the components of the e-cigarette solutions (liquids) were additionally analyzed. During the vaping sessions substantial amounts of 1,2-propanediol, glycerine and nicotine were found in the gas-phase, as well as high concentrations of PM2.5 (mean 197 μg/m(3)). The concentration of putative carcinogenic PAH in indoor air increased by 20% to 147 ng/m(3), and aluminum showed a 2.4-fold increase. PNC ranged from 48,620 to 88,386 particles/cm(3) (median), with peaks at diameters 24-36 nm. FeNO increased in 7 of 9 individuals. The nicotine content of the liquids varied and was 1.2-fold higher than claimed by the manufacturer. Our data confirm that e-cigarettes are not emission-free and their pollutants could be of health concern for users and secondhand smokers. In particular, ultrafine particles formed from supersaturated 1,2-propanediol vapor can be deposited in the lung, and aerosolized nicotine seems capable of increasing the release of the inflammatory signaling molecule NO upon inhalation. In view of consumer safety, e-cigarettes and nicotine liquids should be officially regulated and labeled with appropriate warnings of potential health effects, particularly of toxicity risk in children.

KEYWORDS:

Electronic cigarette; FeNO; Health effects; Indoor air quality; Nicotine; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Secondhand smoking; Vaping; Volatile organic compounds; e-Cigarette

PMID:
24373737
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.11.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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