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Human transport of thirdhand tobacco smoke: A prominent source of hazardous air pollutants into indoor nonsmoking environments

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Science Advances  04 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 10, eaay4109
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay4109
  • Fig. 1 Real-time concentrations of known THS compounds from PTR-TOF MS over a weekend (Friday to Sunday) of films.

    Major repeated emission events of THS tracers and known tobacco-related compounds, including (A) acetonitrile, (B) furanoids and aldehydes, and (C) aromatics, are observed near the start of R-rated action films, while only minor enhancements are present for family films. (A) includes CO2 as a marker of human occupancy and displays attendance data from ticket sales (along the top), movie start times (dotted lines), and movie duration (shading). The shading also denotes generic movie category—family movie (Wendy) or R-rated action movie (Resident Evil). Concentrations are shown as 2-min averages. A change in ventilation mode led to the sudden increases in CO2 at around midnight each night. Figure S5 includes Monday’s data, along with D5, which represents an additional marker for human occupancy changes complementary to CO2. ppm, parts per million; ppb, parts per billion.

  • Fig. 2 Composition and dynamics of THS emission events observed at the theater.

    (A) Regressions between emission rates of VOCs commonly found in THS with 2,5-dimethylfuran, a commonly used tracer for THS and environmental tobacco smoke. (B) Observed toluene versus benzene emission rates compared to literature data (see the Supplementary Materials) for tobacco smoke and other sources and environments. (C) Close-up of a single THS emission event, with acetonitrile, benzene, and CO2 concentrations shown on relative scales for comparison (day 2, 20:20 showing of Resident Evil). Concentrations increase simultaneously; CO2 comes to steady state because of constant emissions, while acetonitrile and benzene decay as a result of decreased off-gassing from occupants. (D) The average composition of THS-related emissions during THS events, colored by compound type. Isomer speciation is derived from offline TD-GC-MS and may not add up to 100% because of rounding.

  • Fig. 3 Average chemical composition of functionalized organic aerosol collected on daily filters throughout the campaign during business hours.

    (A) Compound class distribution compared between three sites, including outdoor comparisons to Mainz and Atlanta (32, 33). Nicotine (labeled) made up 15% of functionalized aerosol abundance measured via high-resolution LC-ESI-TOF in positive mode, and nitrogen-containing compounds made up 88% of all identified compounds (fig. S6A and table S3). (B) The volatility distribution for the positive mode data displays the dominance of CHN compounds in the IVOC range, with the remaining compounds populating the SVOC, low volatility organic compound (LVOC), and extremely low volatility organic compound (ELVOC) ranges. Typical volatility distributions can be found in the work by Ditto et al. for Atlanta and other sites (32). Additional figures and numerical data for positive- and negative-mode ESI can be found in fig. S6 and table S3.

  • Fig. 4 Exposure to hazardous gas-phase THS VOCs corresponds to high levels of SHS and will be exacerbated by smaller room volumes and ventilation rates at other sites.

    (A) Average SHS cigarette equivalents (± SD) for the R-rated THS emission events were calculated using literature emission factors per combusted cigarette (μg/cig) and Table 1 emission rates (table S1 and fig. S7) (22, 26, 27). Variability in the SHS equivalents between VOCs is primarily due to the variance in the rate of THS uptake and off-gassing, the THS contamination age, and the cigarette types/brands used in literature data. (B) Variations in relative concentration enhancements for THS VOCs as a function of room volume and effective AER for the same emissions profile as the theater. Concentration enhancement ratios (ΔC/ΔCMT, marked by the contour lines) represent the expected concentration increase in other environments from fresh THS emissions (ΔC) compared to the observed change in the large movie theater (ΔCMT) (1300 m3, 1.5 hour−1). A range of typical room volumes and effective AER (dashed boxes and stars) are shown as examples of these parameters for other indoor environments (9, 4248). Stars were used to mark single locations, while boxes outline these parameters for a range of test sites.

  • Table 1 Emission rates of known THS compounds in online PTR-TOF MS data.

    All compounds reported here have been previously observed in tobacco smoke (6, 21, 22). For the isomer distributions for C8 aromatics, C9 aromatics, and C10 aromatics, consult Fig. 2D.

    CompoundsAverage
    emission
    rate during
    THS events
    (mg/hour)
    Emission rate regression
    to 2,5-dimethylfuran
    Emission rate regression
    to benzene
    t test: R-rated versus G-rated
    emission rates
    Mean ± SD*rSloperSlopetP value
    AromaticsBenzene§3.46 ± 1.790.874.73 ± 0.731.001.00 ± 0.004.140.001
    Toluene§5.91 ± 2.780.746.14 ± 1.530.931.42 ± 0.152.790.009
    C8 aromatics§4.84 ± 2.110.745.00 ± 1.260.921.15 ± 0.142.810.010
    C9 aromatics3.12 ± 1.370.723.28 ± 0.880.910.77 ± 0.104.36<0.001
    C10 aromatics0.91 ± 0.420.751.03 ± 0.250.910.23 ± 0.034.62<0.001
    Phenol§0.57 ± 0.320.850.74 ± 0.130.770.13 ± 0.032.600.011
    Styrene§0.71 ± 0.350.720.84 ± 0.220.830.18 ± 0.035.07<0.001
    Benzaldehyde0.24 ± 0.100.590.18 ± 0.070.570.03 ± 0.012.980.006
    Cresols§0.26 ± 0.140.870.34 ± 0.050.810.06 ± 0.012.930.006
    Naphthalene§0.34 ± 0.160.880.40 ± 0.060.880.07 ± 0.012.780.008
    FuranoidsFuran0.43 ± 0.400.900.90 ± 0.120.740.14 ± 0.031.830.045
    2-Methylfuran0.83 ± 0.750.981.92 ± 0.110.850.31 ± 0.053.150.006
    2,5-Dimethylfuran§0.48 ± 0.361.001.00 ± 0.000.870.16 ± 0.023.760.002
    Furfural0.60 ± 0.360.900.86 ± 0.110.800.14 ± 0.032.290.020
    Furfuryl alcohol0.31 ± 0.140.930.37 ± 0.040.830.06 ± 0.013.370.003
    CarbonylsFormaldehyde§0.94 ± 0.500.871.25 ± 0.200.830.22 ± 0.043.840.001
    Acetaldehyde§9.07 ± 6.510.9015.44 ± 2.200.842.64 ± 0.502.860.009
    Acrolein§0.73 ± 0.570.941.43 ± 0.140.870.24 ± 0.043.310.004
    Acetone20.45 ± 10.450.6919.54 ± 6.430.723.75 ± 1.143.060.010
    Methacrolein0.61 ± 0.430.931.10 ± 0.120.850.18 ± 0.033.140.004
    2,3-Butanedione1.00 ± 0.680.901.68 ± 0.230.720.25 ± 0.073.590.003
    OtherAcetonitrile§1.20 ± 0.860.962.24 ± 0.190.800.35 ± 0.073.270.004
    Acetic acid8.40 ± 2.210.685.84 ± 1.990.691.09 ± 0.363.100.010
    Isoprene4.55 ± 2.890.846.81 ± 1.220.771.15 ± 0.262.930.006
    Monoterpenes2.14 ± 1.910.582.62 ± 1.050.460.41 ± 0.230.990.179

    *Emission rates were calculated from the THS emission events of 10 R-rated movie showings unless noted otherwise. High SDs indicate high movie-to-movie variability. Emission rates include isomers and ionization products not mentioned above (e.g., methyl vinyl ketone with methacrolein).

    P values in bold represent those that are statistically significant (P < 0.05) for the unpaired two-sample t test, evaluating whether the emission rates were higher in the 10 R-rated movie screenings than the five family movies. See section S1 for more details.

    ‡Compounds were identified with an offline GC-MS method for ≥C6 compounds using standards and the National Institute of Standards and Technology library.

    §Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) as assigned by the EPA or in the case of 2,5-dimethylfuran, showed cytotoxicity in previous studies (1).

    ∥Emission factors use data from days 1 to 3 for acetone and acetic acid because large non-THS related emissions from cleaning were observed before the start of day 4 for these compounds, which biased calculations. The monoterpenes values exclude the third film on day 1 because of a large non-THS spike after the start of the film.

    Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/6/10/eaay4109/DC1

      Section S1. Data analysis methods

      Fig. S1. Acetonitrile decay rate during a movie and examples of late arrival THS events.

      Fig. S2. Concentration profiles for other compounds present in THS not shown in Fig. 1.

      Fig. S3. Acetone, acetic acid, and acetaldehyde spike simultaneously with known THS tracers.

      Fig. S4. Ratio of 2-methylfuran to 2,5-dimethylfuran throughout real-time data collection and a literature tobacco smoke versus THS ratio to 2,5-dimethylfuran comparison.

      Fig. S5. Concentration profile for THS compounds in Fig. 1 with Day 4 included.

      Fig. S6. Compound class distribution and volatility distributions of functionalized organic aerosol.

      Fig. S7. Average SHS cigarette equivalents and SDs during 10 R-rated THS emission events including all non-HAPs.

      Table S1. Summary of compounds, literature emission factors, and PTR-TOF MS parameters for known THS compounds.

      Table S2. Benzene and toluene ratios from literature.

      Table S3. Compound class composition for functionalized aerosol.

      References (5078)

    • Supplementary Materials

      This PDF file includes:

      • Section S1. Data analysis methods
      • Fig. S1. Acetonitrile decay rate during a movie and examples of late arrival THS events.
      • Fig. S2. Concentration profiles for other compounds present in THS not shown in Fig. 1.
      • Fig. S3. Acetone, acetic acid, and acetaldehyde spike simultaneously with known THS tracers.
      • Fig. S4. Ratio of 2-methylfuran to 2,5-dimethylfuran throughout real-time data collection and a literature tobacco smoke versus THS ratio to 2,5-dimethylfuran comparison.
      • Fig. S5. Concentration profile for THS compounds in Fig. 1 with Day 4 included.
      • Fig. S6. Compound class distribution and volatility distributions of functionalized organic aerosol.
      • Fig. S7. Average SHS cigarette equivalents and SDs during 10 R-rated THS emission events including all non-HAPs.
      • Table S1. Summary of compounds, literature emission factors, and PTR-TOF MS parameters for known THS compounds.
      • Table S2. Benzene and toluene ratios from literature.
      • Table S3. Compound class composition for functionalized aerosol.
      • References (5078)

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