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Characterization of Potential Harm Caused by Electronic Cigarette Flavor Chemicals and their Reaction Products

Principal Investigators: Prudence Talbot

Funding Mechanism: NIH Grant

ID number: 1R01ES029741-01

Award Date: 9/18/2018

Institution: University of California Riverside


The flavor chemicals and their degradation reaction products (generated by heating) in e-cigarette aerosols may cause cell toxicity. The goals of this project are to analyze commercial e-liquids to identify and quantify flavor chemicals and their degradation reaction products and to evaluate cellular responses. The researchers will test 550 popular refill and cartomizer fluids and 100 fluids that have been anecdotally reported to cause sickness in users using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, and other analytical methods. Study aims are: (1) to understand the identities and concentrations of dominant flavor chemicals in e-cigarette refill fluids and heat-generated reaction products in aerosols; (2) to analyze 3D lung epithelial cells at the air liquid interface to identify and characterize their response to heat-generated aerosols containing high potency flavor chemicals; and (3) to evaluate the potency and biological effects of individual flavor chemicals and reaction products in aerosols generated without heating. Study findings may inform future regulatory activities related to e-cigarettes.