Evaluation of Elemental Cadmium as a Marker for Environmental Tobacco Smoke

De Wu, Sheldon Landsberger, Susan M. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The evaluation of cadmium as a marker of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has been carried out on the basis of several criteria. First, cadmium was found to be a good indicator source in ETS. For example, elevated Cd concentrations (4–38 ng/m3) were measured in smoking areas compared with less than 2 ng/m3 in ETS-free indoor air. Secondly, the cadmium concentrations in various types of unburnt cigarette tobacco are not significantly different, with the average concentration being 1.28 ± 0.17 μg of Cd/g of tobacco. Furthermore, the emission fraction of cadmium is quite large: approximately 44% of the total cadmium in cigarette tobacco is released in ETS. Cadmium in ETS was primarily found in the small particles (diameter less than 1 μm), indicating Cd to be a good marker of respirable ETS. Finally, the Cd concentration in ETS was observed to decay slowly and to increase linearly with the strength of the source. On the basis of these evaluations, it is concluded that cadmium is a good marker of ETS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2311-2316
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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