Indoor air chemistry: an exploratory study on e-cigarettes shows no negative impact on indoor air quality
The impact on indoor air quality when using e-cigarettes is expected to be very different to cigarette use and has been subject of numerous research papers. The published literature is often of somewhat limited value in evaluating the impact of e-cigarettes on indoor air quality since the experiments were either conducted with smoking machines, based on theoretical calculations (i.e. modelling experiments) or performed in rooms with limited control. Philip Morris International has built an environmentally controlled, furnished room and developed analytical methods to measure air pollutants under diverse simulated indoor environments focusing on: (i) ISO measurement standards for Environmental Tobacco Smoke and, (ii) selected carbonyls and volatile organic compounds. The room is fully controlled and adjustable in terms of air renewal and the analytical methods have been developed, validated and accredited under ISO 17025. An exploratory study on Indoor Air Quality for e-cigarettes was performed focused on relevant analytes in the context of e-cigarettes, i.e. particulate matter, nicotine and selected carbonyls. Three different e-cigarette products were tested, representing a range of e-liquid compositions and product designs. Multiple replicates with panelists, under one simulated condition (residential with air renewal set at 1.2 per hour, according to CEN-EN 15251:2007) were performed, including “background” sessions (no products used), against which vaping results are compared. During vaping sessions, panelists used the assigned product once every 40 minutes for 10 minutes duration over the course of 5 hours. Results show that all analytes measured when e-cigarettes are used were not different from background levels, with the exception of nicotine, glycerin and propylene glycol. Nicotine levels ranging from 0.3 µg/m3 to 6.5 µg/m3 were observed and were directly correlated with the amount of e-liquid consumed during the different sessions. Based on these results, we conclude that using e-cigarettes indoor does not negatively impact air quality.