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Metals in Electronic Cigarette Aerosol

Principal Investigator: Prudence Talbot

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- Grant

ID Number: 1R01DA036493-01A1

Award Date: 7/2/2014

Institution: University of California-Riverside 


A number of metals and elements in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) aerosol – such as lead, chromium, iron, strontium, and aluminum – are known carcinogens, respiratory toxicants/irritants, reproductive and developmental toxicants, or have other human health effects. The goal of this project is to identify and quantify the metal content of e-cigarette aerosols generated by a variety of products and designs, to examine the cytoxicity (i.e. toxicity to cells) and genotoxicity (i.e., toxicity to genetic information within cells) of aerosols with metal content, and to examine biomarkers of metal exposure and effects in users. Specific aims are: (1) to identify and quantify the metals in the fluid and aerosol of a broad range of e-cigarettes from different manufacturers and of different styles; (2) to use an embryonic model and a three-dimensional adult lung air-interface model to evaluate the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of aerosols from products that contain metals; and (3) to measure biomarkers of metal exposure and effects in e-cigarette users by comparing 75 adults aged 21-40 who use e-cigarettes only, conventional cigarettes only, or no tobacco products, by analyzing metals in oral cavity cells and metal concentrations in saliva, blood, and urine. Research findings may inform regulatory policies related to e-cigarettes.

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