Estimation of the dose of electronic cigarette chemicals deposited in human airways through passive vaping


Background: Existing studies on the health effects of e-cigarettes focused on e-cigarette users themselves. To study the corresponding effects on passive vapers, it is crucial to quantify e-cigarette chemicals deposited in their airways.

Objective: This study proposed an innovative approach to estimate the deposited dose of e-cigarette chemicals in the passive vapers’ airways. The effect of the distance between active and passive vapers on the deposited dose was also examined.

Methods: The chemical constituent analysis was conducted to detect Nicotine and flavoring agents in e-cigarette aerosol. The Mobile Aerosol Lung Deposition Apparatus (MALDA) was employed to conduct aerosol respiratory deposition experiments in real-life settings to generate real-time data.

Results: For e-cigarette aerosol in the ultrafine particle regime, the deposited doses in the alveolar region were on average 3.2 times higher than those in the head-to-TB airways, and the deposited dose in the passive vaper’s airways increased when being closer to the active vaper.

Significance: With prolonged exposure and close proximity to active vapers, passive vapers may be at risk for potential health effects of harmful e-cigarette chemicals. The methodology developed in this study has laid the groundwork for future research on exposure assessment and health risk analysis for passive vaping.

Authors: Wei-Chung Su, Ying-Hsuan Lin, Su-Wei Wong, Jin Y Chen, Jinho Lee, Anne Buu
; Full Source: Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology 2021 Jul 8. doi: 10.1038/s41370-021-00362-0.