Research Article

Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology (2004) 14, S71–S77. doi:10.1038/sj.jea.7500361

Inhalation of hazardous air pollutants from environmental tobacco smoke in US residences

William W Nazaroffa,b and Brett C Singerb

  1. aDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
  2. bEnvironmental Energy Technologies Division, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, USA

Correspondence: Prof. W.W. Nazaroff, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 633 Davis Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1710, USA. Tel.: +1-510-642-1040; Fax: +1-510-642-7483. E-mail:



In the United States, 48 million adults smoke 3.5–5 times 1011 cigarettes/year. Many cigarettes are smoked in private residences, causing regular environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure to roughly 31 million nonsmokers (11% of the US population), including 16 million juveniles. (Upper bound estimates are 53 million exposed nonsmokers including 28 million juveniles.) ETS contains many chemical species whose industrial emissions are regulated by the US federal government as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). In this paper, average daily residential exposures to and intakes of 16 HAPs in ETS are estimated for US nonsmokers who live with smokers. The evaluation is based on material-balance modeling; utilizes published data on smoking habits, demographics, and housing; and incorporates newly reported exposure-relevant emission factors. The ratio of estimated average exposure concentrations to reference concentrations is close to or greater than one for acrolein, acetaldehyde, 1,3-butadiene, and formaldehyde, indicating potential for concern regarding noncancer health effects from chronic exposures. In addition, lifetime cancer risks from residential ETS exposure are estimated to be substantial (approx2–500 per million) for each of five known or probable human carcinogens: acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, benzene, acrylonitrile, and 1,3-butadiene. Cumulative population intakes from residential ETS are compared for six key compounds against ambient sources of exposure. ETS is found to be a dominant source of environmental inhalation intake for acrylonitrile and 1,3-butadiene. It is an important cause of intake for acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde, and a significant contributor to intake for benzene.


exposure, health risk, indoor air quality, passive smoking, second-hand smoke, toxic air contaminants.



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