Air monitoring at large public electronic cigarette events

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) conventions bring hundreds to thousands of e-cigarette users together socially regularly across the world. E-cigarette second-hand exposures to chemicals in this environment, likely the public setting with the highest concentration of e-cigarette second-hand aerosol, have not been characterised. Air sampling for formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, nicotine, and propylene glycol was conducted at three e-cigarette conventions and one smaller event from April 2016 to March 2017 in three states in the South-eastern United States. Volunteers attended the events as members of the public and wore backpacks containing air sampling pumps. Control sampling was conducted when venues were crowded for non-e-cigarette events. Additional control sampling was conducted in two venues when they were empty. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde concentrations during e-cigarette events were comparable to background concentrations. The median formaldehyde concentrations during events, crowded control events, and empty control events were 12.0, 10.5, and 12.5??g/m3, respectively. The median acetaldehyde concentrations during events, crowded control events, and empty control events were 9.7, 15.5, and 3.5??g/m3, respectively. Propylene glycol and nicotine were not detected during control sampling. The median nicotine concentration during events was 1.1??g/m3. The median propylene glycol concentration during events was 305.5??g/m3. Results indicate e-cigarette second-hand exposures are sources of elevated nicotine and propylene glycol exposures. Secondhand exposures to e-cigarettes did not contain consistently elevated concentrations of formaldehyde or acetaldehyde. Additional research is needed to characterise exposures via inhalation to propylene glycol at concentrations measured in this study.

Authors: Johnson JM, Naeher LP, Yu X, Rathbun SL, Muilenburg JL, Wang JS. ; Full Source: International Journal of Hygiene & Environmental Health. 2018 Feb 10. pii: S1438-4639(17)30687-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2018.02.003. [Epub ahead of print]

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