Bei Wang1,2, Steven Sai Hang Ho 3,4, Kin Fai Ho3,5, Yu Huang1, Chi Sing Chan5, Natale Sin Yau Feng6, Simon Ho Sai Ip6

  • 1 Research Center of Urban Environmental Technology and Management, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
  • 2 Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, Quebec, Canada
  • 3 SKLLQG, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an, 710075, China
  • 4 Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV 89512, USA
  • 5 School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • 6 Hong Kong Premium Services and Research Laboratory, Lai Chi Kok, Hong Kong, China

Received: November 29, 2011
Revised: February 14, 2012
Accepted: February 14, 2012
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Cite this article:
Wang, B., Ho, S.S.H., Ho, K.F., Huang, Y., Chan, C.S., Feng, N.S.Y. and Ip, S.H.S. (2012). An Environmental Chamber Study of the Characteristics of Air Pollutants Released from Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 12: 1269-1281.



Environment tobacco smoke (ETS) is an important source of anthropogenic pollution in indoor environments. This research reports an environmental chamber study of pollutants released from ETS generated by smoking cigarettes in the chamber. Six cigarettes samples sold in Hong Kong and China were characterized. Gaseous pollutants: carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), methane (CH4), non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC), carbonyls and volatile organic compounds (VOCs); and particulate matter (PM), including organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC) and total carbon (TC), were determined using online and offline analytical methods during smoking and post-smoking periods. Acetaldehyde, acetone and formaldehyde were the three most abundant carbonyls. A total of 18 aromatic and chlorinated VOCs were quantified. Among these, benzene and toluene were the two most abundant VOCs. OC was more dominant (> 93% of TC) than EC. The amounts of tar and nicotine in the cigarettes could have a direct correlation with the PM emitted. Menthol, an additive in cigarettes, could also contribute to the ETS pollutants. The indoor ETS could be removed by a higher air exchange rate, which would also minimize secondary VOC formation.

Keywords: Environmental tobacco smoke; Chamber; Emission factors; VOCs; PM2.5

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