Elevated concentrations of endotoxin in indoor air due to cigarette smoking

J Environ Monit. 2006 May;8(5):519-22. doi: 10.1039/b600706f. Epub 2006 Mar 27.


Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is an important worldwide public health issue. The present study demonstrates that cigarette smoke can be a major source of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) in indoor environments. Gas-chromatography/mass-spectrometry was used to determine 3-hydroxy fatty acids as markers of endotoxin in air-borne house dust in homes of smokers and non-smokers. Air concentrations of endotoxin were 4-63 times higher in rooms of smoking students than in identical rooms of non-smoking students. The fact that cigarette smoke contains large amounts of endotoxin may partly explain the high prevalence of respiratory disorders among smokers and may also draw attention to a hitherto neglected risk factor of ETS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Movements
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Endotoxins / analysis*
  • Endotoxins / toxicity
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis*


  • Endotoxins
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution