Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Biology

Language

English

Abstract

Studies on the health impact of vaping so far have largely ignored the fact that electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) is essentially an electronic product which is likely to contain a group of endocrine disrupting flame retardants, namely, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) as additives in the combustible components of the product. Thus, the conclusion that e-cigarette is less harmful to health than tobacco smoking may be based on incomplete information. This study reports moderate to elevated levels of PBDEs in 5 out of the 13 samples of e-cigarettes. This finding is suggestive of the continued use of PBDEs in the manufacturing of e-cigarette atomizers and the associated protective casing. This study is unique as it confirms the existence of this developmental neurotoxicant in e-cigarette aerosols. In view of the significant levels of PBDEs and other known carcinogens (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and formaldehydes) in e-cigarette aerosol, there is an urgent need for conducting a thorough review of the health risks of vaping by relevant professionals. A further lesson learnt from this study is that policy makers and relevant product manufacturers should be aware of the possible presence of PBDEs in the aerosol of body care and medical electrical devices such as face steamers, inhalators and nebulizers, especially when PBDEs are utilized in the combustible components of these devices.

Keywords

Electronic cigarette, Brominated flame retardant, PBDEs

Publication Date

1-10-2018

Source Publication Title

Journal of Cleaner Production

Volume

171

Start Page

10

End Page

16

Publisher

Elsevier

Peer Reviewed

1

Copyright

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Funder

This work was supported by the Council on Smoking and Health of Hong Kong.

DOI

10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.09.286

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.09.286

ISSN (print)

09596526

ISSN (electronic)

18791786

Available for download on Saturday, February 01, 2020

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Biology Commons

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