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Food Chem Toxicol. 2018 Jun;116(Pt B):233-237. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.04.035. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Detection and quantitative determination of heavy metals in electronic cigarette refill liquids using Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Greece.
2
Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology, Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Greece; Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, Greece.
3
Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology, Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Greece.
4
Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Greece; Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences/Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, Patras, Greece.
5
Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Greece. Electronic address: malbie@upatras.gr.

Abstract

Electronic cigarettes are considered healthier alternatives to conventional cigarettes containing tobacco. They produce vapor through heating of the refill liquids (e-liquids) which consist of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine (in various concentrations), water and flavoring agents. Heavy metals may enter the refill liquid during the production, posing a risk for consumer's health due to their toxicity. The objective of the present study was the development of a methodology for the detection and quantitative analysis of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), arsenic (As) and chromium (Cr), employing Total Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (TXRF) as an alternative technique to ICP-MS or ICP-OES commonly used for this type of analysis. TXRF was chosen due to its advantages, which include short analysis time, promptness, simultaneous multi-element analysis capability and minimum sample preparation, low purchase and operational cost. The proposed methodology was applied to a large number of electronic cigarette liquids commercially available, as well as their constituents, in order to evaluate their safety. TXRF may be a valuable tool for probing heavy metals in electronic cigarette refill liquids to serve for the protection of human health.

KEYWORDS:

Electronic cigarette; Heavy metals; Refill liquid; Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

PMID:
29679608
DOI:
10.1016/j.fct.2018.04.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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