E-Cigarette Airflow Rate Modulates Toxicant Profiles and Can Lead to Concerning Levels of Solvent Consumption.
ACS Omega. 2018 Jan 31 ;3(1):30-36. Epub 2018 Jan 2. PMID: 29399647
Electronic cigarettes enabling enhanced airflow have grown in popularity in recent years. The objective of this study is to show that flow rates modulate the levels of specific aerosol toxicants produced in electronic cigarettes. Flow rates used in various laboratory investigations involving e-cigarettes have varied widely to date, and can thus promote interlaboratory variability in aerosol product profiles. The thermal decomposition of hydroxyacetone and glycolaldehyde is less favorable at lower temperatures, supporting the observations of these products at higher flow rates/lower heating coil temperatures. Higher temperatures promote the formation of acetaldehyde from hydroxyacetone and formaldehyde from both hydroxyacetone and glycolaldehyde. A separate finding is that greater airflow can also expose users to concerning levels of e-liquid solvents. Under the modest conditions studied, propylene glycol aerosol levels are found at above the acceptable inhalation levels defined by NASA, and in range of the generally recognized as safe levels for daily ingestion.