Chemical Elements, Flavor Chemicals, and Nicotine in Unused and Used Electronic Cigarettes Aged 5–10 Years and Effects of pH
This research was funded by National Institute of Drug Addiction and FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) [Grant R01 DA03649] to PT; and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Center for Tobacco Products (Grant R01ES029741) to PT, a Predoctoral Fellowship from the Tobacco-Related Research Program of California [Grant #23DT-0101] to MW, a Postdoctoral T32 Training Grant Award from the NIH (Grant #T32 ES018827) to MW. Portions of the work were supported by the AES Research and Graduate Student Funding Program.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Vaping -- Toxicology, Electronic cigarettes -- Health aspects
The concentrations of elements/metals, nicotine, flavor chemicals and acids were compared in the e-liquids of unused and used first-generation electronic cigarettes (ECs) that were stored for 5–10 years. Metal analysis was performed using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy; nicotine and flavor chemical analyses were performed using gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. Of the 22 elements analyzed, 10 (aluminum, chromium, copper, iron, lead, nickel, selenium, silicon, tin, zinc) were often found in the e-liquids. Five elements had the highest average concentrations: copper (1161.6 mg/L), zinc (295.8 mg/L), tin (287.6 mg/L), nickel (71.1 mg/L), and lead (50.3 mg/L). Nicotine concentrations were always lower than label concentrations indicated. Of the 181 flavor chemicals analyzed, 11 were detected in at least one sample, with hydroxyacetone being present in all samples. In used products, some flavor chemicals appeared to be by-products of heating. E-liquids with the highest concentrations of acids and the lowest pH levels also had the highest concentrations of elements/metals. Metal concentrations in e-liquids increased after use in some products, and some metal concentrations, such as nickel, were high enough to be a health concern. Leachates from discarded ECs could contribute toxic metals/chemicals to the environment, supporting the need for better regulation of atomizer design, composition, and disposal.
Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).
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Williams, M., Luo, W., McWhirter, K., Ikegbu, O., & Talbot, P. (2022). Chemical Elements, Flavor Chemicals, and Nicotine in Unused and Used Electronic Cigarettes Aged 5–10 Years and Effects of pH. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(24), 16931.