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Do these levels of exposure pose any risks?

Posted by comment on 02 Apr 2013 at 22:18 GMT

Table 1 lists a range of alarming health effects of the detected exposures, but this seems to be just made up. E.g. 0.2 micrograms of copper inhaled from 10 puffs of e-cigarette are presented as causing 'respiratory irritation, coughing, sneezing, thoracic pain, runny nose and vineyard sprayer’s lung'. Looking this up shows that ACGIH allows that workers can be exposed chronically to an environment containing 0.4 mg/m3 of a respirable aerosol of copper without health effects. Assuming a workday inhalation of 10 m3 and correcting for a 5 day work week, the expected daily copper inhaled dose would be 2860 micrograms. I.e. inhaling over 10,000 times the amount of copper released by this e-cigarette has no ill effects.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Do these levels of exposure pose any risks?

clive_bates replied to comment on 08 Apr 2013 at 21:10 GMT

The authors should respond to this rather serious criticism, and place their findings in an appropriate risk framework. It is not adequate simply to detect substances and then argue that these substances are known to have health effects. What matters is exposure, the risks that arise from that exposure, and what level of risk should attract the concern or otherwise of users and regulators - especially in comparison to the very harmful dominant nicotine products, cigarettes, that these products aim to replace.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Do these levels of exposure pose any risks?

ScienceComm replied to clive_bates on 19 Jan 2014 at 08:40 GMT

In the context of using this topic, the above mentioned publication, and its coverage for my students to discuss in classes on (the limitations of) Risk Communication and (deficits of) Science Journalism, I would like to point you to a youtube videoscribe provided by Andrew D. Maynard, NSF International Chair of Environmental Health Sciences, and Director of the Risk Science Center at University of Michigan. He has received quite a few (critical) comments from laypeople in the thread of the youtube posting. Non

Competing interests declared: None, apart from enjoying a cigar from time to time. ;-)