Evaluation of chemical exposures at two vape shops in Texas
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Evaluation of chemical exposures at two vape shops in Texas

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    "The Texas Department of State Health Services requested assistance from the Health Hazard Evaluation Program to evaluate employees' exposures to chemicals associated with vaping at two vape shops. We collected air samples for flavoring chemicals (diacetyl, 2,3-pentanedione, 2,3-hexanedione, and acetoin), nicotine, volatile organic compounds, and formaldehyde; took wipe samples for nicotine and metals on commonly touched surfaces; and interviewed employees about their work and health. We found that employees vaped at work. Employees were exposed to low levels of flavoring chemicals in the air while working in the vape shops. Exposure to formaldehyde, other volatile organic compounds, and nicotine were also low. We found evidence of residual nicotine on commonly touched surfaces throughout both vape shops. All employees wore chemical protective gloves when they were mixing e-liquids and working with concentrated nicotine solutions. However, some employees reported liquid nicotine contacting their skin or eyes while handling liquid nicotine or vaporizers. At the time of our visit, none of the employees reported symptoms consistent with either nicotine toxicity or exposures to flavorings in the past 4 weeks. Although the measured concentrations were below all applicable occupational exposure limits, we recommend that the employer implement a policy prohibiting vaping in the workplace with e-liquids that contain diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione. We also recommended determining which work tasks are associated with nicotine exposure to identify PPE needs, training employees on proper chemical handling procedures, and ensuring consistent use of chemical protective nitrile gloves when handling liquids containing nicotine or customers' e-cigarettes." - NIOSHTIC-2

    NIOSHTIC no. 20051616

    Recommended citation for this report: NIOSH [2018]. Evaluation of chemical exposures at two vape shops in Texas. By Zwack LM, Chiu S, LeBouf RF. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Health Hazard Evaluation Report 2016-0120-3307, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2016-0120-3307.pdf.

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