Airborne chemicals in the indoor environment arise from a wide variety of sources such as burning fuels and cooking, construction materials and furniture, environmental tobacco smoke as well as outdoor sources. To understand the contribution of exhaled e-cigarette aerosol to the pre-existing chemicals in the ambient air, an indoor air quality study was conducted to measure volatile organic compounds (including nicotine and low molecular weight carbonyls), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco-specific nitrosamines and trace metal levels in the air before, during and after e-cigarette use in a typical small office meeting room. Measurements were compared with human Health Criteria Values, such as indoor air quality guidelines or workplace exposure limits where established, to provide a context for potential bystander exposures. In this study, the data suggest that any additional chemicals present in indoor air from the exhaled e-cigarette aerosol, are unlikely to present an air quality issue to bystanders at the levels measured when compared to the regulatory standards that are used for workplaces or general indoor air quality.


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Citation:  O’Connell G, Colard S, Cahours X, Pritchard JD. An Assessment of Indoor Air Quality before, during and after Unrestricted Use of E-Cigarettes in a Small Room. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015;12(5):4889–4907. Published 2015 May 6. doi:10.3390/ijerph120504889