Households contaminated by environmental tobacco smoke: sources of infant exposures
- G E Matt1,
- P J E Quintana2,
- M F Hovell2,
- J T Bernert3,
- S Song3,
- N Novianti2,
- T Juarez2,
- J Floro1,
- C Gehrman4,
- M Garcia1,
- S Larson5
- 1Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA
- 2Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University
- 3US Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- 4SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego
- 5San Diego State University Foundation, WIC Program, San Diego
- Correspondence to: G E Matt PhD, Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-4611, USA;
- Received 12 March 2003
- Accepted 2 October 2003
Objectives: To examine (1) whether dust and surfaces in households of smokers are contaminated with environmental tobacco smoke (ETS); (2) whether smoking parents can protect their infants by smoking outside and away from the infant; and (3) whether contaminated dust, surfaces, and air contribute to ETS exposure in infants.
Design: Quasi-experiment comparing three types of households with infants: (1) non-smokers who believe they have protected their children from ETS; (2) smokers who believe they have protected their children from ETS; (3) smokers who expose their children to ETS.
Setting: Homes of smokers and non-smokers.
Participants: Smoking and non-smoking mothers and their infants ⩽ 1 year.
Main outcome measures: ETS contamination as measured by nicotine in household dust, indoor air, and household surfaces. ETS exposure as measured by cotinine levels in infant urine.
Results: ETS contamination and ETS exposure were 5–7 times higher in households of smokers trying to protect their infants by smoking outdoors than in households of non-smokers. ETS contamination and exposure were 3–8 times higher in households of smokers who exposed their infants to ETS by smoking indoors than in households of smokers trying to protect their children by smoking outdoors.
Conclusions: Dust and surfaces in homes of smokers are contaminated with ETS. Infants of smokers are at risk of ETS exposure in their homes through dust, surfaces, and air. Smoking outside the home and away from the infant reduces but does not completely protect a smoker’s home from ETS contamination and a smoker’s infant from ETS exposure.
- CDC, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CTS, California Tobacco Survey
- DEG, direct exposure group
- ETS, environmental tobacco smoke
- IEG, indirect exposure group
- NEG, no exposure group
- PAH, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- PPM, Pearson product moment
- RSP, respirable suspended particles
- WIC, Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program