Safety assessment of diammonium phosphate and urea used in the manufacture of cigarettes

Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2008 Apr;59(6):339-53. doi: 10.1016/j.etp.2007.11.015. Epub 2008 Feb 12.


A tiered testing strategy has been employed to evaluate the potential for new ingredients, tobacco processes, and technological developments to alter the mainstream smoke or biological activity that results from burning cigarette tobacco. The foundation of this evaluation strategy is comparative testing, typically including chemical and biological assessments. In the manufacture of cigarettes, diammonium phosphate (DAP) and urea have been historically used as ingredients added to tobacco, to reconstituted tobacco sheet, and to other processed tobaccos. As part of ongoing stewardship efforts, a toxicological assessment of cigarettes with and without DAP and urea was conducted. Chemical and biological analyses were conducted for test cigarettes added 0.5% DAP and 0.2% urea in the final blend and also for those added 1.0% DAP and 0.41% urea in the final blend compared to reference cigarettes without added DAP or urea. Principal components of this evaluation included a determination of selected mainstream smoke constituent yields, an Ames assay in Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98 and TA100, a sister chromatid exchange assay in Chinese hamster ovary cells, a 13-week inhalation study of mainstream cigarette smoke in Sprague-Dawley rats, and a 30-week dermal tumor-promotion evaluation of mainstream cigarette smoke condensate in SENCAR mice. Comparative evaluations demonstrated that the addition of DAP and urea to cigarettes at up to 1% and 0.41%, respectively, does not alter the biological activity compared to reference cigarettes without DAP or urea.

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • CHO Cells
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Cocarcinogenesis
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Female
  • Inhalation Exposure
  • Male
  • Mutagens / toxicity*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Organ Specificity
  • Phosphates / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange / drug effects
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Tars / chemistry
  • Tars / toxicity
  • Tobacco / chemistry*
  • Tobacco Industry / standards
  • Toxicity Tests
  • Urea / toxicity*


  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens
  • Phosphates
  • Tars
  • ammonium phosphate
  • tobacco tar
  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Urea