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Chemical Research in Toxicology

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Vaping -- Toxicology, Electronic cigarettes -- Health aspects


Vaping devices have risen in popularity since their inception in 2007. The practice involves using a variety of commercially available devices. Internal heating systems in devices aerosolize e-liquid formulations of complex mixtures including an active ingredient (e.g., THC, CBD, and nicotine), diluents (or cutting agents), solvents, and flavoring agents (e.g., terpenes and aldehydes). The vaping toxicology literature consists of cytotoxicity studies of individual chemicals and commercial formulas. Because of the variation of e-liquid composition, there is a limited understanding of the toxicity of ingredient combinations. This study analyzed the cytotoxic effects after exposure to individual and binary mixtures of a representative terpene (+-R-limonene) and diluent (triethyl citrate) on human lung cell models. Data were analyzed to determine the effects of 97:3 and 80:20% v/v (triethyl citrate/limonene) binary mixtures. BEAS-2B cells, a bronchial epithelial cell, and A549 cells, a type II alveolar epithelial cell, served as models for comparison. LC50 values were calculated and isobolograms were used to assess chemical interactions. Results show that limonene was more cytotoxic than triethyl citrate. Isobolographic analyses confirmed that the 97:3% v/v mixture resulted in an antagonistic chemical interaction. The 80:20% v/v mixture resulted in a similar result. Further testing of different ratios of binary mixtures is needed for chemical interaction screening to inform safety assessments.


© 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society

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