Gas-phase organics in environmental tobacco smoke: 2. Exposure-relevant emission factors and indiret exposures from habitual smoking

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Journal Article



Sorption of emitted gas-phase organic compounds onto material surfaces affects environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) composition and exposures indoors. We have introduced a new metric, the exposure relevant emission factor (EREF) that accounts for sorptive uptake and reemission to give the mass of individual ETS constituents available for exposure over a day in which smoking occurs. This paper describes month-long experiments to investigate sorption effects on EREFs and potential ETS exposures under habitual smoking conditions. Cigarettes were smoked in a 50-m3 furnished room over a 3-h period 6-7 days per week, with continuous ventilation at 0.3, 0.6, or 2.1 h-1. Organic gas concentrations were measured every few days over 4-h "smoking", 10-h "post-smoking" and 10-h "background" periods. Concentration patterns of volatile ETS components including 1,3-butadiene, benzene and acrolein were similar to those calculated for a theoretical non-sorbing tracer, indicating limited sorption. Concentrations of ETS tracers, e.g., 3-ethenylpyridine (3-EP) and nicotine, and lower volatility toxic air contaminants including phenol, cresols, and naphthalene increased as experiments progressed, indicating mass accumulation on surfaces and higher desorption rates. Daily patterns stabilized after week 2, yielding a steady daily cycle of ETS concentrations associated with habitual smoking. EREFs forsorbing compounds were higher under steady-cycle versus single-day smoking conditions by ~50% for 3-EP, and by 2-3 times for nicotine, phenol, cresols, naphthalene, and methylnaphthalenes. Our results provide relevant information about potential indirect exposures from residual ETS (nonsmoker enters room shortly after smoker finishes) and from reemission, and their importance relative to direct exposures (nonsmoker present during smoking). Under the conditions examined, indirect exposures accounted for a larger fraction of total potential exposures for sorbing versus non-sorbing compounds, and at lower versus higher ventilation rates. Increasing ventilation can reduce indirect exposures to very low levels for non-sorbing ETS components, but indirect routes accounted for ~50% of potential nicotine exposures during non-smoking periods at all ventilation rates.


Atmospheric Environment



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