A pilot study of the behavior of gas- and particle-phase ETS tracers in residences
Our previous study of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in a three-room environmental chamber showed that smoking history significantly influenced inter-room ETS transport, particularly of gas-phase nicotine. We conducted a three-home pilot study where smoking was limited to one room. Single-smoker residences were monitored during five one-week periods while the smoker participated in a smoking cessation program. Nicotine traced ETS particles were detected reliably in the smoking rooms (SRs) and unreliably in the non-smoking rooms (NSRs). On average, the ventilation- and volume-normalized smoking rate, 0.1 Cigarette-h-1m-3, added about 17 and 4 µg m-3 of ETS particles into the SR and NSR, while average nicotine concentration increases were 2 and 0.06 µg m-3, respectively. Thus, nicotine tracers may underestimate ETS particle exposure in a NSR (e.g., a child's bedroom) by a factor of 2 to 8. In other words, ETS exposure predicted from nicotine concentrations could be almost an order of magnitude lower than actual exposure.