• Press Release

August 18, 2021

Chemical Insights Research Institute and Georgia State University Announce Research Study on Vaping and E‑Cigarettes

Chemical Insights and Georgia State University’s School of Public Health will work together on a research initiative on understanding human exposure and the potential health effects of e-cigarettes and vaping devices like this one.

Collaborative initiative to address consumer health concerns associated with vaping

ATLANTA – Aug. 18, 2021 – Today, Chemical Insights Research Institute, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and Georgia State University’s School of Public Health (GSU) announced the launch of a research initiative on understanding human exposure and the potential health effects of vaping and e-cigarettes. Researchers will characterize airborne particulate aerosols and volatile organic chemicals released during e-cigarette and vape use and determine human exposure levels and potential toxicity for users and bystanders.

“With a focus on public health and safety benefits, our research findings will provide data on specific particles and chemicals and their exposure levels so that human health impacts may be further understood,” said Dr. Marilyn Black, vice president and senior technical advisor with Chemical Insights Research Institute.

The use of vapes or e-cigarettes among adolescents and young adults has increased in the United States over the last decade, with an estimated 3.6 million U.S. youths using e-cigarettes in 2020. One contributing factor is the perception that vaping and e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to cigarettes and other traditional tobacco products. However, a series of studies have proven pulmonary toxicity in e-cigarettes and a link to negative impacts on adolescents’ respiratory health. Currently, vaping and e-cigarettes lag in product safety testing for numerous proprietary liquids and aerosol delivery methods available in the expanding marketplace.

Recognizing this gap in research knowledge, Underwriters Laboratories assembled a team of highly skilled researchers and technical facilities to collect more data and draw more insights. Combining Underwriters Laboratories’ specialized human exposure chambers with the expertise of GSU public health researchers will allow the team to conduct real-time exposure studies; characterize the physiochemical aerosols and measure biological activity and genotoxicity of the vaping and e-cigarettes aerosols. Initial research findings will be available in Fall 2021.

“This study will provide scientifically sound data to inform policymakers, healthcare providers, manufacturers, and consumers of potential health risks and approaches for product usage and warnings to educate consumers of potential respiratory hazards,” said Dr. Roby Greenwald, co-principal investigator, GSU. “We’re looking at multiple liquids and aerosol delivery methods that are readily available to better understand toxicity and their impact on human health.”

The UL initiative builds upon the organization’s past research projects on emerging technologies’ impact on health, including the toxicity of 3D printing emissions, furniture flammability and global air pollution. UL’s research paves the way for improved practices, alternative product designs, new legislation, regulatory changes, and educational programs to enable safer products and healthier environments.

To learn more about Chemical Insights Research Institute’s mission, please visit www.chemicalinsights.org

About Chemical Insights

As an Institute of Underwriters Laboratories, we deliver the scientific insight policymakers, healthcare providers, business leaders and consumers depend on to make informed environmental health decisions. Combining the best minds, rigorous scientific research and a commitment for thorough and accurate results, Chemical Insights is improving the health of people and the planet.

Our work lets people around the world know what chemicals are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the products we interact with every day. Our research and initiatives gives them the knowledge of exactly what those chemicals are, how they may affect human health, and how to manage their impact.

Our leadership role is to provide science or knowledge to implement improved practices, alternative product design, and changes that enable safer products and healthier environments.

To learn more, please visit chemicalinsights.org.

About Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the UL public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being. To learn more, visit UL.org.

About Georgia State University School of Public Health

Georgia State University’s School of Public Health provides the high-quality and relevant teaching, research and service needed to advance public health practice in a changing world. By investigating the contemporary problems that challenge diverse urban communities, the school is preparing the next generation of public health professionals to make a difference through leadership, scholarship and practice locally and globally. Learn more at publichealth.gsu.edu.


Press Contacts:

Denise Rushing
Chemical Insights Research Institute

Caitlin Coffee