207607 Tobacco smoke pollution of rental cars: Air concentrations of nicotine and 3-EP

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Penelope J.E. Quintana, PhD, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Georg E. Matt, PhD , Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Dale A. Chatfield, PhD , Department of Chemistry, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Addie L. Brewer, MS , Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA
Mauricio G. Aguilar, BA , Measurement & Evaluation Research Group, San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego, CA
Joy M. Zakarian, MPH , Measurement & Evaluation Research Group, San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego, CA
Exposure to tobacco smoke pollution (TSP) can occur in the presence of active smoking and long after smoking has taken place, through exposure to residual contamination of air, dust and surfaces. Here we investigated whether residual TSP could be found in cars offered for rent through national and local car rental agencies. Cars (n=250) were rented in San Diego CA, from 2006 – 2008. Nicotine and 3-ethenylpyridine (3-EP) were measured in air using active air sampling, and nicotine measured on surfaces. Samples were analyzed by LC-tandem mass spectrometry using deuterated internal standards. Air concentrations of nicotine were slightly higher in cars designated as ‘smoking' cars (median 0.040 ug/m3 nicotine, max 0.914 ug/m3) than in cars designated as ‘non-smoking' cars (median 0.018 ug/m3 nicotine, max 0.344 ug/m3) and cars of unknown designation (median 0.023 ug/m3 nicotine, max 0.618 ug/m3). The level of 3-EP was about half (median 43.5%) of the level of nicotine in the same air sample. Nicotine and 3-EP were highly correlated (rho = 0.878, p<0.001), indicating that nicotine is a marker for other components of residual TSP contamination of spaces, not merely a uniquely persistent compound. Nicotine levels in air were correlated with wipe sample concentrations of nicotine taken in the same car (rho = 0.240, p=0.006) as was 3-EP (rho = 0.327, p<0.001) These findings suggest that detectable levels of TSP markers can be measured in many rental cars, even though these cars have been cleaned prior to rental.

Learning Objectives:
Describe methods for measuring residual tobacco smoke pollution in air and on surfaces Assess contamination of rental cars with residual tobacco smoke pollution

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in the design and laboratory and data analysis portions of this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.