Determination of allyl alcohol in electronic cigarette (e-cig) aerosol and liquids using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
Allyl alcohol is a potential contaminant or degradation product of the glycerol commonly used in electronic cigarette (e-cig) solutions. The aim of this work was to develop a fast and simple procedure for the determination of allyl alcohol in electronic cigarette (e-cig) aerosol and e-liquids.
Aerosol collection was achieved using a collection pad followed in series by a cryogenic impinger containing methanol (-70°C). The sample preparation consisted of adding internal standard (allyl alcohol-d5) to the collection pad and extracting the pad with the trapping solution using a wrist shaker. The filtrate was then analyzed by GC-MS using a ZB-wax (60 m x 0.25 mm x 0.25 µm df) column using selected ion mode (SIM) using ions (m/z) 57 and 58 as the quantifier and qualifier respectively. The e-liquid was analyzed using the same instrumental parameters, simplifying the sample preparation procedure by adding internal standard to 500mg of sample, then performing a simple dilution with methanol and filtration.
Validation experiments demonstrated good sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility. Calibrations from 15 to 1900 ng/mL exhibited good linearity (R2>0.9999) and precision (RSD< 15%) resulting in an LOD and LOQ for e-liquids of approximately 340 and 1100 ng/g respectively. These limits were equivalent to 70 and 220 ng per collection for e-cig aerosol. Total allyl alcohol deliveries was found at levels of 1510 ng/collection (n=5) in one of the e-cig aerosols generated using an 80/3/30/ “square wave” profile puffing regimen (volume/duration/frequency) with a 100 puff collection. For the e-liquids, one test sample was identified to contain 3733 ng/g (n=5) of allyl alcohol.