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SSPC Research Article of the Year
March 3, 2022

Congratulations to Prof. Donal O’Shea and Dr Dan Wu at Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) Department of Chemistry on being awarded Research Article of the Year 2020 for their publication:

Potential for release of pulmonary toxic ketene from vaping pyrolysis of vitamin E acetate” Donal O’Shea; Dan W. (2020) PNAS

This combined analytical, theoretical, and experimental study has shown that the vaping of vitamin E acetate has the potential to produce exceptionally toxic ketene gas, which may be a contributing factor to the upsurge in lung injuries associated with vaping products.

Inhalation of ketene gas can damage lungs for up to 24 hours after exposure. At low concentrations, it acts as an irritant and can impair the central nervous system, while at high concentrations it can be lethal. To make their discovery, the team utilized mass spectrometry, density-functional theory and experimental analysis of isolated products.

Dr Dan Wu received his PhD from UCD in 2015, and he is currently working as honorary lecturer in Department of Chemistry, RCSI.

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