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Environ Res. 2019 May 3;174:152-159. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.04.025. [Epub ahead of print]

The transfer characteristics of heavy metals in electronic cigarette liquid.

Author information

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seoul, 04763, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seoul, 04763, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: kkim61@hanyang.ac.kr.
3
Department of Public Health Sciences, Graduate School, Korea University, Seoul, 02841, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Environmental Engineering, Pukyong National University, 45 Yongso-ro, Nam-gu, Busan, 48513, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: sonys@pknu.ac.kr.

Abstract

In this research, the concentrations of six heavy metals (Zn, Pb, Ni, Fe, Cd, and Cr) in electronic cigarette (EC) solutions were determined to assess their association with EC use patterns. To this end, their contents were analyzed under three conditions: (1) ECL I: EC liquid was directly taken from EC liquid bottles as purchased from retail, (2) ECL II: EC liquid simply stored in the EC clearomizer for a certain period was collected without any puffing, and (3) ECL III: EC liquid remaining in the EC clearomizer after puffing. Each of all three types of electronic cigarette liquid (ECL) samples selected in this study was analyzed after being stored for up to seven days (at elapsed intervals of 1, 3, and 7 days). Zn and Pb were detected in all types of samples while Cd was all below method detection limit (MDL). Fe, Ni, and Cr were generally below MDL in ECL I, while it was not the case for ECL II and III samples. Especially, Zn, Pb, and Ni levels increased significantly with the use of EC. If the consumption of EC causes alterations in elemental content, such changes can be assessed in terms of ratio values such as "after/before use". The maximum ratio values for each target, when assessed using ECL III samples, were seen in the following order: 463 (Zn) > 315 (Ni) > 131 (Fe) > 47.9 (Cr) > 36.0 (Pb). As such, EC use is clearly demonstrated as the transfer route of heavy metals.

KEYWORDS:

Coil; E-liquid; Electronic cigarette; Heavy metal; Transfer

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