Analysis of Toxic Metals in Electronic Cigarette Aerosols Using a Novel Trap Design
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Analysis of Toxic Metals in Electronic Cigarette Aerosols Using a Novel Trap Design

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      J Anal Toxicol
    • Description:
      Since 2006 the domestic popularity and sales of electronic cigarettes (i.e., electronic nicotine delivery systems or ENDS) have grown rapidly. Although the constituents of the aerosol produced by ENDS have been previously investigated, differences in puff regimens and aerosol trapping schema in published literature often complicate result comparisons and data interpretation. As the ENDS product designs continue to evolve, there is a critical need to develop and validate robust methodologies for laboratory testing, appropriate aerosol generation and trapping media required for accurate determinations of ENDS aerosol metals deliveries. A simple, high metals purity, fluoropolymer trap was developed and validated that meets standard machine puffing regimen (CORESTA Recommended Method 81) specifications and exhibits negligible acid extractable metal backgrounds. Using a standard machine puffing regimen in combination with a fluoropolymer condensation trap, aerosol was generated and collected from select ENDS devices for analysis of chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium, tin, and lead with triple quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Devices tested spanned a range of commercial products, including flavored variants of JUUL pods, refillable tank systems, rechargeable cartridges, and single-use ENDs devices. Results showed that for aerosols generated under a fixed puffing regimen (50 puffs/collection), metal concentrations ranged from below the detection limits (LOD) to 614 ng copper and 339 ng zinc per 10 puffs. Cadmium concentrations were below LOD for all devices tested. Device specific aerosol levels of Sn and Pb ranged from below LOD to low nanogram levels. Cr and Ni were transported in aerosols at levels equivalent to, or slightly higher than in mainstream cigarette smoke using a standard smoking regimen. The generally lower levels of specific metals, Cd and Pb, transmitted in ENDS aerosols compared to mainstream cigarette smoke reflect possible reduction of harm for smokers who substitute the use of ENDS as cessation devices in place of smoking cigarettes.
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