Nicotine levels in silicone wristband samplers worn by children exposed to secondhand smoke and electronic cigarette vapor are highly correlated with child's urinary cotinine

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2019 Oct;29(6):733-741. doi: 10.1038/s41370-019-0116-7. Epub 2019 Feb 6.


Exposure assessment in children, especially young children, presents difficulties not found with adults. Simple silicone wristbands are passive samplers that have potential applicability in exposure studies of children. We investigated the performance of silicone wristbands as personal nicotine samplers in two wristbands worn by a child (n = 31) for 7 days and for 2 days (worn day 5 to day 7). We compared levels of nicotine in wristbands with urinary cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, measured in the child's urine obtained on day 7. Children were recruited who were exposed to contaminants in tobacco smoke and/or vapor from electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS; commonly known as electronic cigarettes or EC) as well as children who lived in nonsmoking homes. Caregivers were interviewed to obtain reported measures of the child's exposure. Analysis was by liquid chromatography with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry and isotope dilution (LC-MS/MS). The nicotine detected in the wristbands worn for 2 days was highly correlated with urinary cotinine concentration (df = 29, r2 = 0.741, p < 0.001), as was nicotine in wristbands worn for 7 days (df = 28, r2 = 0.804, p < 0.001). The 2- and 7-day wristband nicotine amounts were also significantly correlated (df = 28, r2 = 0.852, p < 0.001). Silicone wristbands may be a useful tool for epidemiological and intervention studies of tobacco product exposure in children.

Keywords: Biomonitoring; Child exposure/health; Dermal exposure; Personal exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cotinine / urine*
  • E-Cigarette Vapor*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotine / analysis*
  • Silicones / chemistry*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis*
  • Wearable Electronic Devices*


  • E-Cigarette Vapor
  • Silicones
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Nicotine
  • Cotinine