Main and side stream effects of electronic cigarettes.
J Environ Manage. 2019 May 15 ;238:10-17. Epub 2019 Mar 2. PMID: 30836280
Over the last decade there has been a significant boost towards the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), especially among youth. Different concentrations of propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG), flavors and nicotine are mixed in plastic cartridges and commercially offered or privately produced by the vapers. During vaping, a mixture of air and vapors is inhaled to the lungs. Since the ingredients of the e-cigarettes are not burned but vaporized (heated), fewer chemicals are emitted. The levels of potentially toxic compounds (e.g. volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM), metals, radicals, nitrosamines, etc.) emitted from vaping appear to be lower compared to that of tobacco smoking (from combustible cigarettes). Nevertheless, measurable toxic elements and VOCs are still released (e.g. acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, acrolein, benzene, etc.) along with other volatiles associated with e-liquid flavoring and device variability with PG and VG. The wide range of available flavors at various purities along with the heating temperature are important parameters affecting the evolution of VOCs and aerosols. There is lack of standardized short- and long-term epidemiological medical data (chronic exposure) on e-cigarettes effects to users, non-users and the human micro-environment (second- or third-hand exposure). Therefore, the potential health, safety and environmental effects of vaping are reviewed, examined and discussed.