Customers' exposure to PM2.5 and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in smoking/nonsmoking sections of 24-h coffee shops in Taiwan

J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 2004 Nov;14(7):529-35. doi: 10.1038/sj.jea.7500371.


In Taiwan 24-h coffee shops have become popular gathering areas for young people. This study assesses customers' exposures to PM(2.5) and gaseous/particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in such an environment. Potential influential factors were also evaluated. Two coffee shops with different types of smoking/nonsmoking divisions were selected. Sampling was conducted from 1300 to 2100 hours on Saturdays and Sundays during December 2000 and January 2001. Personal environmental monitors mounted with Teflon filters and polyurethane foams were used for particulate and gaseous sampling. PAHs were analyzed with GC-FID. Principal component analysis was used to explore the differences in the patterns of gaseous and particulate PAHs. Stepwise regression analysis was used to evaluate the contribution of various factors. The geometric mean (GM) of PM(2.5), particulate and gaseous PAH exposures were 83.7, 0.46 and 1.01 microg/m(3), respectively. Their exposure concentrations were about two to five times those of residential indoor environments in Taiwan. Smoking and vehicle exhaust were two major exposure sources. The gaseous PAH concentrations in the two sections of both shops were significantly correlated. The divisions between smoking and nonsmoking sections in neither of the coffee shops were effective to prevent dispersion of gaseous pollutants. In both shops, the concentrations of PM(2.5) and associated PAHs, respectively, were about 22-28 microg/m(3) and 0.07 microg/m(3) higher in smoking areas compared to nonsmoking areas. It was also found that each additional cigarette resulted in a 0.22-0.42 microg/m(3) PM(2.5) incremental increase in nonsmoking customers' exposure in the smoking section.

MeSH terms

  • Air Movements
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Particle Size
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis*
  • Restaurants*
  • Taiwan
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis*


  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution