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Environ Res. 2017 Jan;152:221-225. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.09.026. Epub 2016 Oct 28.

E-cigarettes as a source of toxic and potentially carcinogenic metals.

Author information

1
University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, Prevention Research Center, 180 Grand Ave., Ste. 1200, Oakland, CA 94612, USA; Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Electronic address: chess@prev.org.
2
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
3
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
4
Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Graz, Institute of Chemistry, Unversitätsplatz 1, 8010 Graz, Austria.
5
Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

The popularity of electronic cigarette devices is growing worldwide. The health impact of e-cigarette use, however, remains unclear. E-cigarettes are marketed as a safer alternative to cigarettes. The aim of this research was the characterization and quantification of toxic metal concentrations in five, nationally popular brands of cig-a-like e-cigarettes.

METHODS:

We analyzed the cartomizer liquid in 10 cartomizer refills for each of five brands by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS).

RESULTS:

All of the tested metals (cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese and nickel) were found in the e-liquids analyzed. Across all analyzed brands, mean (SD) concentrations ranged from 4.89 (0.893) to 1970 (1540) μg/L for lead, 53.9 (6.95) to 2110 (5220) μg/L for chromium and 58.7 (22.4) to 22,600 (24,400) μg/L for nickel. Manganese concentrations ranged from 28.7 (9.79) to 6910.2 (12,200) μg/L. We found marked variability in nickel and chromium concentration within and between brands, which may come from heating elements.

CONCLUSION:

Additional research is needed to evaluate whether e-cigarettes represent a relevant exposure pathway for toxic metals in users.

KEYWORDS:

Carcinogens; Electronic nicotine delivery devices; Non-cigarette tobacco products

PMID:
27810679
PMCID:
PMC5135636
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2016.09.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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