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Simple exposure indicators for ETS particles

Institution: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Investigator(s): Lara Gundel, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2002 (Cycle 11) Grant #: 11RT-0202 Award: $749,647
Subject Area: General Biomedical Science
Award Type: Research Project Awards
Abstracts

Initial Award Abstract
Cotinine, a nicotine metabolite, is by far the most commonly used environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) biomarker. Cotinine is frequently normalized against excreted creatinine and presented as the cotinine/creatinine ratio. Despite its advantages and widespread use, cotinine is not without ambiguity as an indicator of ETS exposure and, specially, as an indicator of exposure reduction. A significant knowledge gap exists regarding the time course of changes in urine cotinine levels relative to changes in indoor air environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) constituents and surface nicotine. This gap potentially limits the effectiveness of using urinary cotinine/creatinine ratios as an exposure marker in epidemiological studies. This is because the dynamic behavior of nicotine in indoor environments may lead to serious misclassification errors when ETS exposure is estimated from cotinine. However, conventional methods for ETS particle concentrations are too costly for use in large studies such as the smoking intervention study that the Palo Alto Medical Research Institute (PAMFRI) plans. Simplified, low cost measures of both indoor ETS particle concentration and personal exposure could appreciably augment the validity of other available measures such as cotinine and self-reported smoking in the home.

The Indoor Environment Department at LBNL will develop and validate a simple, low cost measurement technique for the presence of environmental tobacco smoke particles in indoor environments. Two gas phase tracers of ETS will also be monitored, nicotine and 3-ethenyl pyridine. This project will be conducted in coordination and collaboration with a new NIH-funded 3-year ETS reduction intervention study by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI). The new ETS indicator will assist PAMFRI in addressing how closely asthmatic children’s urine cotinine levels track reductions in ETS particulate exposure.

In Year 1 LBNL will develop and validate a low cost, compact ETS monitor whose central concept has recently been proven in the laboratory; and a time-controlled passive monitor for nicotine and 3-ethenylpyridine. In Years 2 and 3 these methods will be deployed in the fourth of four phases of PAMFRI’s intervention study, to assess ETS exposure to asthmatic children in all of the 500 families who are enrolled in the NIH study. ETS particles and nicotine will be assessed for one week at each of three locations in the children’s indoor environments. LBNL will provide sample analysis. In Year 3 data will be analyzed and reported. The results will show whether the indicator tools can reliably resolve classification of children’s ETS exposure status when a discrepancy exists between urinary cotinine levels and parental self-report data.
Publications

Simple exposure indicators for second hand smoke
Periodical: TRDRP Annual Report to the State of California Legislature Index Medicus:
Authors: Apte MG, Pang Y, Black DR, Hansen ADA, Mahanama KRR, Singer BC, Gundel LA ABS
Yr: 2003 Vol: Nbr: Abs: Pg: