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Exposure To Environmental Tobacco Smoke in an Automobile


Francis J. Offermann, Ron Colfer, Peter Radzinski, and Jonathan Robertson
Indoor Environmental Engineering, San Francisco, CA, USA


We measured exposures to ETS in a moving minivan under three different ventilation scenarios: drivers window open/ventilation off, windows closed/ventilation on, and windows closed/ventilation off. The driver smoked a single cigarette while we measured the concentration of ETS using laser aerosol monitors and the outside air exchange rate using a tracer gas decay technique. The indoor concentrations of respirable particulate matter increased during smoking by factors of 13 to 300 depending upon the ventilation configuration. The calculated exposure for a five hour automobile trip with the windows closed/ventilation off and with a smoking rate of 2 cigarettes per hour is 25 times higher than the same exposure scenario in a residence. Smoking low tar cigarettes or operation of air cleaners or ventilation equipment cannot reduce concentrations in automobiles to acceptable levels. The most effective solution to protecting passengers from ETS exposure is not to smoke in the automobile.

See the full document on Exposure To Environmental Tobacco Smoke in an Automobile here.

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