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Environmental Health Investigations Branch

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Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are combustion-less battery-powered devices that are able to aerosolize a liquid solution often containing nicotine. Existing studies have found that e-cigarettes can generate hazardous compounds such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein during use.

Man Smoking e-Cigarette

The Exposure Assessment Section (EAS) has contributed to the following e-cigarette projects:

  • Work practices and worker exposures in e-cigarette vape shops. 
    • As a relatively new industry, little is known about levels of chemicals in the air from vaping in occupational settings. EAS is working with the Occupational Health Branch and Bay Area vape shops to learn about common work practices and whether chemicals are at levels of health concern (for example, formaldehyde, nicotine, and diacetyl, a flavoring chemical).
  • Toxicity and biological effects of e-liquid flavorings.
    • EAS is partnering with local and international researchers to learn more about the effects of these chemicals on the lungs and enzymes that may have implications for addiction.
  • Educational materials on e-cigarettes for healthcare providers and the general public. 
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