Evaluation of Second-Hand Exposure to Electronic Cigarette Vaping under a Real Scenario: Measurements of Ultrafine Particle Number Concentration and Size Distribution and Comparison with Traditional Tobacco Smoke

Jolanda Palmisani, Alessia Di Gilio, Laura Palmieri, Carmelo Abenavoli, Marco Famele, Rosa Draisci, Gianluigi de Gennaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study aims to evaluate the impact of e-cig second-hand aerosol on indoor air quality in terms of ultrafine particles (UFPs) and potential inhalation exposure levels of passive bystanders. E-cig second-hand aerosol characteristics in terms of UFPs number concentration and size distribution exhaled by two volunteers vaping 15 different e-liquids inside a 49 m3 room and comparison with tobacco smoke are discussed. High temporal resolution measurements were performed under natural ventilation conditions to simulate a realistic exposure scenario. Results showed a systematic increase in UFPs number concentration (part cm-3) related to a 20-min vaping session (from 6.56 × 103 to 4.01 × 104 part cm-3), although this was one up to two order of magnitude lower than that produced by one tobacco cigarette consumption (from 1.12 × 105 to 1.46 × 105 part cm-3). E-cig second-hand aerosol size distribution exhibits a bimodal behavior with modes at 10.8 and 29.4 nm in contrast with the unimodal typical size distribution of tobacco smoke with peak mode at 100 nm. In the size range 6-26 nm, particles concentration in e-cig second-hand aerosol were from 2- (Dp = 25.5 nm) to 3800-fold (Dp = 9.31 nm) higher than in tobacco smoke highlighting that particles exhaled by users and potentially inhaled by bystanders are nano-sized with high penetration capacity into human airways.

Original languageEnglish
JournalToxics
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 25 2019

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