Use of Environmental Tobacco Smoke Constituents as Markers for Exposure


The 16-City Study analyzed for gas-phase environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) constituents (nicotine, 3-ethenyl pyridine [3-EP], and myosmine) and for particulate-phase constituents (respirable particulate matter [RSP], ultraviolet-absorbing particulate matter [UVPM], fluorescing particulate matter [FPM], scopoletin, and solanesol). In this second of three articles, we discuss the merits of each constituent as a marker for ETS and report pair-wise comparisons of the markers. Neither nicotine nor UVPM were good predictors for RSP. However, nicotine and UVPM were good qualitative predictors of each other. Nicotine was correlated with other gas-phase constituents. Comparisons between UVPM and other particulate-phase constituents were performed. Its relation with FPM was excellent, with UVPM approximately 1 1/2 times FPM. The correlation between UVPM and solanesol was good, but the relationship between the two was not linear. The relation between UVPM and scopoletin was not good, largely because of noise in the scopoletin measures around its limit of detection. We considered the relation between nicotine and saliva cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine. The two were highly correlated on the group level. That is, for each cell (smoking home and work, smoking home but nonsmoking work, and so forth), there was high correlation between average cotinine and 24-hour time-weighted average (TWA) nicotine concentrations. However, on the individual level, the correlations, although significant, were not biologically meaningful. A consideration of cotinine and nicotine or 3-EP on a subset of the study whose only exposure to ETS was exclusively at work or exclusively at home showed that home exposure was a more important source of ETS than work exposure.

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LaKind, J.S., Jenkins, R.A., Naiman, D.Q. et al. Use of Environmental Tobacco Smoke Constituents as Markers for Exposure. Risk Anal 19, 359–373 (1999).

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  • 16-City Study
  • environmental tobacco smoke
  • markers
  • nicotine
  • personal monitoring
  • saliva cotinine
  • workplace exposure