Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Source of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Settled Household Dust
Eunha Hoh, Richard N Hunt, Penelope J. E. Quintana, Joy M. Zakarian, Dale Chatfield, Beth C. Wittry, Edgar Rodriguez, and Georg E. Matt
Environ. Sci. Technol., Just Accepted Manuscript
Publication Date (Web): March 7, 2012
Copyright © 2012 American Chemical Society
Environmental tobacco smoke is a major contributor to indoor air pollution. Dust and surfaces may remain contaminated long after active smoking has ceased (called ‘thirdhand’ smoke). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are known carcinogenic components of tobacco smoke found in settled house dust (SHD). We investigated whether tobacco smoke is a source of PAHs in SHD. House dust was collected from 132 homes in urban areas of Southern California. Total PAHs were significantly higher in smoker homes than nonsmoker homes (by concentration: 990 ng/g vs. 756 ng/g, p=0.025; by loading: 1650 ng/m2 vs. 796 ng/m2, p=0.012). We also found significant linear correlations between nicotine and total PAH levels in SHD (concentration, R2=0.105; loading, R2=0.385). Dust collected per square meter (g/m2) was significantly greater in smoker homes and might dilute PAH concentration in SHD inconsistently. Therefore, dust PAH loading (ng PAH /m2) is a better indicator of PAH content in SHD. House dust PAH loadings in the bedroom and living room in the same home were significantly correlated (R2=0.468, p<0.001), suggesting PAHs are distributed by tobacco smoke throughout a home. In conclusion, tobacco smoke is a source of PAHs in SHD, and tobacco smoke generated PAHs are a component of thirdhand smoke.