Determination of 4-(Methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-Pyridyl)-1-Butanone (NNK) arising from tobacco smoke in airborne particulate matter

Noel J. Aquilina, Christopher M. Havel, Roy M. Harrison, Kin Fai Ho, Neal L. Benowitz, Peyton Jacob

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Abstract

The most important tobacco-specific nitrosamine found in cigarette smoke and formed in ageing smoke after cigarettes are extinguished is 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK). It is formed from nitrosation of nicotine, under particular conditions both in indoor and outdoor environments. NNK has been classified as a potent lung carcinogen which is expected to be found primarily in the particle-phase and to be stable in particulate matter. In this study tests have been carried out to show that a bisulfate-treated filter is more efficient than an untreated filter to collect both nicotine and NNK, and that the latter is stable in outdoor particulate matter. To characterize NNK in the outdoor environment, airborne samples were collected from 11 cities in USA, UK, Hong Kong and Malta with characteristics varying from low to high population densities and from urban to suburban to rural, and with desert characteristics and distinct climates. It has been shown that airborne particle + gas phase nicotine and particle-phase NNK behave in a linearly correlated manner. A seasonal analysis was carried out on a subset of data available from five sites in California, where the load of NNK in PM10 is driven by long range transport of the air masses passing over densely populated cities. In the winter season, the load of NNK in PM is higher than in summer in a statistically significant manner. The contamination of PM with NNK shows variability, but is observed at all sites. This paper highlights the potential risk of chronic exposure to NNK in particulate matter by the inhalation pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106992
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironment International
Volume158
Early online date19 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the following persons in helping out to provide several filters for this study. Lane Sharon and Brenda Saldana from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Polly Cheung from UCSF for helping out in the analytical work. Maria Thompson from the University of Birmingham, UK. Sara Fenech and Renato Camilleri from the Faculty of Science, University of Malta, Malta. Measurements in Malta were carried out using the Mobile Air Quality Laboratory within the University of Malta, procured through the European Regional Development Fund, Project ERDF-310 ?Expanding the Physics and applied interdisciplinary research capabilities at the Faculty of Science?. All funding bodies are acknowledged for their support to carry out this research. This work was supported by the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program Grant 23PT-0013 - Impacts of Thirdhand Smoke on Public Health (Phase-2), National Institute on Drug Abuse, P30 DA012393, the National Center for Research Resources, S10 RR026437, UCSF Bland Lane Center of Excellence on Secondhand Smoke.

Funding Information:
Sara Fenech and Renato Camilleri from the Faculty of Science, University of Malta, Malta. Measurements in Malta were carried out using the Mobile Air Quality Laboratory within the University of Malta, procured through the European Regional Development Fund, Project ERDF-310 “Expanding the Physics and applied interdisciplinary research capabilities at the Faculty of Science”. All funding bodies are acknowledged for their support to carry out this research.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program Grant 23PT-0013 - Impacts of Thirdhand Smoke on Public Health (Phase-2) , National Institute on Drug Abuse , P30 DA012393 , the National Center for Research Resources , S10 RR026437 , UCSF Bland Lane Center of Excellence on Secondhand Smoke .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

Keywords

  • NNK
  • Particulate Matter
  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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