Health risk of metal exposure via inhalation of cigarette sidestream smoke particulate matter

Abstract

Cigarette sidestream smoke particulate matter (CSSP) is a major source of airborne metals in the indoor environment. However, the health impacts of inhalation of CSSP-bound metals are rarely studied. In this study, we quantify the amount of 37 metals discharged through CSSP from a leading Taiwan brand of cigarette, Long Life. We also estimate cancer and non-cancer risks due to inhalation of these metals and investigate possible modes of toxic action. Long Life CSSP exhibits a distinctive carcinogenic metal profile compared with Western brands. When released to a 60-m3 poorly ventilated room, Long Life CSSP metals increase the risk for cancer by a 9.26 or 20.90 in a million chance and the hazard quotient for non-cancer toxicity by 0.496 or 0.286 per cigarette depending on risk estimation system. Cd accounts for more than 90% and 80% of cancer and non-cancer risk, respectively. Long Life CSSP also contains considerable amounts of Al, Ba, and Fe. Metals are not responsible for CSSP-induced cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, and transactivation activity of AhR, Nrf2, and ERα. However, they diminish resveratrol-activated Nrf2 activity and downstream antioxidant gene expression in low-AhR-expressing lung cells. Our results suggest that chronic exposure to Long Life CSSP elevates Cd-associated cancer and non-cancer risks. Furthermore, exposure to Long Life CSSP metals may impair Nrf2-mediated antioxidant protection.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. Lun-Cheng Kuo and Mr. Weichia Chung for technique assistance. We also thank Dr. Hong-Yo Kang for the gift of the ERE-Luc reporter.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Health Research Institutes (EO-105-PP06 and EO-106-PP06).

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Correspondence to Lih-Ann Li.

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Supplemental Figure 1
figure4

Representative photos for CellROX Deep Red detection of ROS production in live CL1-5 cells. Cells were exposed to 0-180 μg/ml cigarette sidestream smoke particulate matter (CSSP) or equivalent amounts of constituent metal mixture (CMM) for 1 h before staining (n=6). Menadione (25 μM) was employed as a positive control. (PNG 97 kb)

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Cheng, L., Lin, C., Liu, H. et al. Health risk of metal exposure via inhalation of cigarette sidestream smoke particulate matter. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 10835–10845 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04257-4

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Keywords

  • Cigarette sidestream smoke
  • Particulate matter
  • Metals
  • Health risk
  • Toxicity mechanisms