Smoking in car interiors is of particular concern because concentrations of potentially harmful substances can be expected to be high in such small spaces. To assess the potential exposure for occupants, especially children, the authors performed a comprehensive evaluation of the pollution in 7 passenger cars while tobacco cigarettes and new electronic smoking products (IQOS, e-cigarette) were being smoked. Data on the indoor climate and indoor air pollution was collected with fine and ultrafine particles and volatile organic compounds while the cars were being driven. Smoking of an IQOS had almost no effect on the mean number concentration (NC) of fine particles (>300?nm) or on the PM2.5 concentration in the interior. In contrast, the NC of particles with a diameter of 25-300?nm markedly increased in all vehicles (1.6-12.3?×?104/cm3). When an e-cigarette was vaped in the interior, 5 of the 7 tested cars showed a strong increase in the PM2.5 concentration to 75-490??g/m3. The highest PM2.5 levels (64-1988??g/m3) were measured while tobacco cigarettes were being smoked. With the e-cigarette, the concentration of propylene glycol increased in 5 car interiors to 50-762??g/m3, whereby the German indoor health precaution guide value for propylene glycol was exceeded in 3 vehicles and the health hazard guide value in one. In 4 vehicles, the nicotine concentration also increased to 4-10??g/m3 while the e-cigarette was being used. The nicotine concentrations associated with the IQOS and e-cigarette were comparable, whereas the highest nicotine levels (8-140??g/m3) were reached with tobacco cigarettes. Cigarette use also led to pollution of the room air with formaldehyde (18.5-56.5??g/m3), acetaldehyde (26.5-141.5??g/m3), and acetone (27.8-75.8??g/m3). Tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and the IQOS are all avoidable sources of indoor pollutants. To protect the health of other non-smoking passengers, especially that of sensitive individuals such as children and pregnant women, these products should not be used in cars.
Authors: Schober W, Fembacher L, Frenzen A, Fromme H. ; Full Source: International Journal of Hygiene & Environmental Health. 2019 Jan 23. pii: S1438-4639(18)30827-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.01.003. [Epub ahead of print]