Secondhand exposure to aerosol from electronic cigarettes: pilot study of assessment of tobacco-specific nitrosamine (NNAL) in urine

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Abstract

Objective: To assess the levels of a tobacco-specific nitrosamine (NNAL) in non-smokers passively exposed to the second-hand aerosol (SHA) emitted from users of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). Method: We conducted an observational study involving 55 non-smoking volunteers divided into three groups: 25 living at home with conventional smokers, 6 living with e-cigarette users, and 24 in control homes (smoke-free homes). We obtained urine samples from all volunteers to determine NNAL. Results: We detected NNAL in the urine of volunteers exposed to e-cigarettes (median:0.55 pg/mL; interquartile range: 0.26-2.94 pg/mL). The percentage of urine samples with quantifiable NNAL differed significantly among the three groups of homes: 29.2%, 66.7% and 76.0%, respectively (p = 0.004). Conclusions: We found NNAL nitrosamine in urine samples from people exposed to SHA from e-cigarettes. However, these results could be confirmed with more studies with larger sample sizes.

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Martínez-Sánchez, J. M., Ballbè, M., Pérez-Ortuño, R., Fu, M., Sureda, X., Pascual, J. A., … Fernández, E. (2019). Secondhand exposure to aerosol from electronic cigarettes: pilot study of assessment of tobacco-specific nitrosamine (NNAL) in urine. Gaceta Sanitaria, 33(6), 575–578. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2018.07.016

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