Development/verification of methods for measurement of exhaled breath and environmental e-vapor product aerosol

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017 Apr:85:55-63. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2017.01.006. Epub 2017 Jan 30.


Concerns have been raised about the potential health effects of potential bystander exposure to exhaled aerosols from e-vapor products (EVPs). An exhaled breath collection system (EBS) was developed and analytical methods were verified for collection and analysis of exhaled breath from users of EVPs. Analytical methods were adapted and verified for collection of environmental air samples during EVP use in an exposure chamber. Analysis of constituents in exhaled breath focused on nicotine, propylene glycol, and glycerin (because these are reported as the major constituents in EVPs) and selected carbonyl compounds (acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde). Analysis of environmental samples included nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, 12 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 15 carbonyl compounds and 4 metals. The EBS and analytical methods used were found to be suitable for collection and analysis of the target constituents in exhaled breath. Environmental sampling for background levels of VOCs and carbonyl compounds found only acetone, acetaldehyde, benzene, ethylbenzene, formaldehyde, isoprene, methyl ethyl ketone, hexaldehyde, propionaldehyde, and toluene above the limit of quantification in some samples. None of the targeted metals were detected. Background levels of VOCs and carbonyl compounds were consistent with levels previously reported for ambient air.

Keywords: Ambient air measurements; E-vapor products; Exhaled breath.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / analysis
  • Breath Tests*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Exhalation
  • Vaping*
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis*


  • Aerosols
  • Volatile Organic Compounds