Electronic cigarettes: conducting vapor analysis for heavy metals from two different types of e-cigarettes
Hynes, Kelsey (author)
Heacock, Helen (Advisor)
Shaw, Fred (Advisor)
Bisente, Jaymar (Advisor)
Cen, Fiona (Advisor)
Chung, Ambrose (Advisor)
British Columbia Institute of Technology School of Health Sciences (Degree granting institution)
Background: Since 2011, the popularity of electronic cigarettes in North America has increased dramatically. However, with a lack of scientific data performed on long term health effects and the limited number of short term studies, it is difficult for Environmental Health Officers to effectively educate the public on concerns relating to the health and safety of the general public. The increase of teenage users demonstrates the need for better government legislation and enforcement, in order to prevent the re-glamorization of smoking in younger generations. Therefore, the following study conducted a chemical analysis on artificially inhaled vapor from two different types of e-cigarettes (disposable and rechargeable), to determine if any heavy metal concentrations; specifically cadmium, chromium, lead and arsenic, are detectable. Methods: The vapor from one of two e-cigarette types was artificially inhaled through a cellulose filter cassette by a personal sampling pump. A two tailed t-test was performed to determine if there were any differences between the heavy metals and the type of e-cigarette used in the study. Results: There was no statistical significant difference in heavy metal concentration by the type of e-cigarette used (for cadmium the p-value was 0.00, and power was 0.00, for chromium the p-value was 0.181220, and power was 0.008976342, for lead the p-value was 0.333711, and power was 0.001825742, for arsenic the p-value was 0.00, and power was 0.00). Conclusion: Based on the results, it was determined that there was no statistical significance between disposable e-cigarettes and rechargeable e-cigarettes with respect to concentration of the four heavy metals of interest (eg. cadmium, chromium, lead and arsenic). Although there was no statistical significance between the types of e-cigarettes used, the average concentration of chromium (IV) from the rechargeable e-cigarette was 0.13mg/m3, which is ten times the recommended 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) set by the BC Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. Hence, further studies must be conducted to determine if the average concentration found in this study truly reflects the concentration found in inhaled vapor from rechargeable e-cigarettes. Furthermore, environmental health officers can provide the public with the concentration found in this study and warn of potential health risks associated with e-cigarettes until further studies are released.
© Kelsey Hynes 2015. All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright heron may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphics, electronic, or mechanical including photocopying, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems – without written permission of the author.
Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2015.