Image5_The Quantitation of Squalene and Squalane in Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid Using Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry.png (588.52 kB)
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posted on 07.04.2022, 04:23 authored by Elizabeth A. Cowan, Hang Tran, Clifford H. Watson, Benjamin C. Blount, Liza Valentín-Blasini

Chemicals of unknown inhalational toxicity are present in electronic cigarette and vaping products. E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine and other relatively hydrophilic chemicals while vaping products typically contain cannabinoids and other hydrophobic chemicals. For example, vaping products can include hydrophobic terpenes such as squalane (SQA) and squalene (SQE). However, little is known about the SQA and SQE transmission from liquid to aerosol. SQA and SQE are used in commercial products that are applied dermally and ingested orally, but limited information is available on their inhalational exposure and toxicity. We developed and validated a quantitative method to measure SQE and SQA in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid to assess if these chemicals accumulate in lung epithelial lining fluid after inhalation. Calibration curves spanned a range of 0.50–30.0 µg analyte per mL bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Recoveries were found to be 97–105% for SQE and 81–106% for SQA. Limits of detection were 0.50 μg/ml for both SQE and SQA. The method was applied to bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples of patients from the 2019 outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and a comparison group. Neither SQA nor SQE was detected above the method LOD for any samples analyzed; conversely, SQA or SQE were reproducibly measured in spiked quality control BAL fluids (relative standards deviations <15% for both analytes). Further applications of this method may help to evaluate the potential toxicity of SQA and SQE chronically inhaled from EVPs.

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