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Tracking Metals from E-cigarettes: From the Coil into Lung Tissue

Principal Investigator(s): Markus Hilpert

Funding Mechanism: NIH Grant

ID number: 1R21ES029777-01

Award Date: 9/19/2018

Institution: Columbia University Health Sciences


E-cigarette devices may release nickel, chromium, lead, and other metals into the heated aerosol that may accumulate in lung tissue and blood. The goals of this study are to analyze the metal content of e-cigarette aerosol and to measure metal concentrations in lung tissue and blood using a mouse model of exposure. Study aims are: (1) to use Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) to radiolabel various disassembled e-cigarette hardware components, followed by reassembly and measurement of the radiation energy spectrum of collected aerosol to identify specific sources of metal contamination; and (2) to conduct mouse exposure experiments to measure and analyze time- and dose-response relationships for nickel, chromium, and lead concentrations in lungs and blood following four-week exposure to e-cigarette aerosol. Findings will provide information about toxic metal exposures arising from e-cigarette use.