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Volume 8, Issue 2

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× Open AccessArticle Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(2), 613-628; []

Hazardous Compounds in Tobacco Smoke

Reinskje Talhout 1,* , Thomas Schulz 2 , Ewa Florek 3 , Jan Van Benthem 1 , Piet Wester 1,4 and Antoon Opperhuizen 1 1 Laboratory for Health Protection Research, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands 2 Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, Thielallee 88-92, 14195 Berlin, Germany 3 Laboratory of Environmental Research, Department of Toxicology, University of Medical Sciences, Dojazd 30, 60-631 Poznan, Poland 4 Centre for Substances and Integrated Risk Assessment, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands * Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Received: 28 December 2010 / Revised: 2 February 2011 / Accepted: 7 February 2011 / Published: 23 February 2011 (This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy) Full-Text   |   PDF [211 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014] No


Tobacco smoke is a toxic and carcinogenic mixture of more than 5,000 chemicals. The present article provides a list of 98 hazardous smoke components, based on an extensive literature search for known smoke components and their human health inhalation risks. An electronic database of smoke components containing more than 2,200 entries was generated. Emission levels in mainstream smoke have been found for 542 of the components and a human inhalation risk value for 98 components. As components with potential carcinogenic, cardiovascular and respiratory effects have been included, the three major smoke-related causes of death are all covered by the list. Given that the currently used Hoffmann list of hazardous smoke components is based on data from the 1990s and only includes carcinogens, it is recommended that the current list of 98 hazardous components is used for regulatory purposes instead. To enable risk assessment of components not covered by this list, thresholds of toxicological concern (TTC) have been established from the inhalation risk values found: 0.0018 µg day−1 for all risks, and 1.2 µg day−1 for all risks excluding carcinogenicity, the latter being similar to previously reported inhalation TTCs. View Full-Text Keywords: smoke component; risk assessment; tobacco product regulation; Hoffmann list; TTC smoke component; risk assessment; tobacco product regulation; Hoffmann list; TTC This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Talhout, R.; Schulz, T.; Florek, E.; Van Benthem, J.; Wester, P.; Opperhuizen, A. Hazardous Compounds in Tobacco Smoke. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 613-628.

AMA Style

Talhout R, Schulz T, Florek E, Van Benthem J, Wester P, Opperhuizen A. Hazardous Compounds in Tobacco Smoke. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2011; 8(2):613-628.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Talhout, Reinskje; Schulz, Thomas; Florek, Ewa; Van Benthem, Jan; Wester, Piet; Opperhuizen, Antoon. 2011. "Hazardous Compounds in Tobacco Smoke." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 8, no. 2: 613-628.

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