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Particulate matter from tobacco versus diesel car exhaust: an educational perspective — Invernizzi et al. 13 (3): 219 — Tobacco Control
Tob Control2004;13:219-221 doi:10.1136/tc.2003.005975

Particulate matter from tobacco versus diesel car exhaust: an educational

G Invernizzi1,
A Ruprecht1,
R Mazza1,
E Rossetti1,
A Sasco2,
S Nardini3,
R Boffi1

+ Author Affiliations

1 Tobacco Control Unit, National Cancer Institute SIMG-Italian Academy of
GPs, Milan, Italy
2 IARC, Lyon, France
3 Pulmonary & TB Unit, General Hospital, Vittorio Veneto, Italy
Correspondence to:? G Invernizzi? National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control
Unit, 17 via Della Michela, Prata Camportaccio, 23020, Italy;
Received 5 September 2003
Accepted 23 January 2004

Background: Air pollution is a common alibi used by adolescents taking up
smoking and by smokers uncertain about quitting. However, environmental
tobacco smoke (ETS) causes fine particulate matter (PM) indoor pollution
exceeding outdoor limits, while new engines and fuels have reduced
particulate emissions by cars. Data comparing PM emission from ETS and a
recently released diesel car are presented.

Methods: A 60 m3 garage was chosen to assess PM emission from three
smouldering cigarettes (lit sequentially for 30 minutes) and from a TDCi
2000cc, idling for 30 minutes.

Results: Particulate was measured with a portable analyser with readings
every two minutes. Background PM10, PM2.5, and PM1 levels (mean (SD)) were 15
(1), 13 (0.7), and 7 (0.6) ?g/m3 in the car experiment and 36 (2), 28 (1),
and 14 (0.8) ?g/m3 in the ETS experiment, respectively. Mean (SD) PM recorded
in the first hour after starting the engine were 44 (9), 31 (5), and 13 (1)
?g/m3, while mean PM in the first hour after lighting cigarettes were 343
(192), 319 (178), and 168 (92) ?g/m3 for PM10, PM2.5, and PM1, respectively
(p < 0.001, background corrected).

Conclusions: ETS is a major source of PM pollution, contributing to indoor PM
concentrations up to 10-fold those emitted from an idling ecodiesel engine.
Besides its educational usefulness, this knowledge should also be considered
from an ecological perspective.

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