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  1. Recent reports have linked severe lung injuries and deaths to the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products. Nevertheless, the causal relationship between exposure to vaping emissions and the observed health outcomes remains to be elucidated. Through chemical and toxicological characterization of vaping emission products, this study demonstrates that during vaping processes, changes in chemical composition of several commonly used vape juice diluents (also known as cutting agents) lead to the formation of toxic byproducts, including quinones, carbonyls, esters, and alkyl alcohols. The resulting vaping emission condensates cause inhibited cell proliferation and enhanced cytotoxicity in human airway epithelial cells. Notably, substantial formation of the duroquinone and durohydroquinone redox couple was observed in the vaping emissions from vitamin E acetate, which may be linked to acute oxidative stress and lung injuries reported by previous studies. These findings provide an improved molecular understanding and highlight the significant role of toxic byproducts in vaping-associated health effects.
  2. Combining experimental and theoretical studies, we investigate the role of R-site (R = Y, Sm, Bi) element on the phase formation and thermal stability of R 2 (Mn 1−x Fe x ) 4 O 10−δ ( x = 0, 0.5, 1) mullite-type oxides. Our results show a distinct R-site dependent phase behavior for mullite-type oxides as Fe is substituted for Mn: 100% mullite-type phase was formed in (Y, Sm, Bi) 2 Mn 4 O 10 ; 55% and 18% of (Y, Sm) 2 Mn 2 Fe 2 O 10−δ was found when R = Y and Sm, respectively, for equal Fe and Mn molar concentrations in the reactants, whereas Bi formed 54% O10- and 42% O9-mixed mullite-type phases. Furthermore, when the reactants contain 100% Fe, no mullite-type phase was formed for R = Y and Sm, but a sub-group transition to Bi 2 Fe 4 O 9 O9-phase was found for R = Bi. Thermogravimetric analysis and density functional theory (DFT) calculation results show a decreasing thermal stability in O10-type structure with increasing Fe incorporation; for example, the decomposition temperature is 1142 K for Bi 2 Mn 2 Fe 2 O 10−δ vs. 1217 K for Bi 2 Mn 4more »O 10 . On the other hand, Bi 2 Fe 4 O 9 O9-type structure is found to be thermally stable up to 1227 K. These findings are explained by electronic structure calculations: (1) as Fe concentration increases, Jahn–Teller distortion results in mid band-gap empty states from unstable Fe 4+ occupied octahedra, which is responsible for the decrease in O10 structure stability; (2) the directional sp orbital hybridization unique to Bi effectively stabilizes the mullite-type structure as Fe replaces Mn.« less