Concentrations of nicotine, RSP, CO and CO2 in nonsmoking areas of offices ventilated by air recirculated from smoking designated areas

Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1988 Sep;49(9):423-6. doi: 10.1080/15298668891380015.


The exposure of nonsmokers to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) when smoking is relegated to designated areas that are not separately ventilated is of considerable interest. Concentrations of nicotine, respirable suspended particles (RSP), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) were measured in offices under different conditions of smoking regulation: smoking prohibited; smoking prohibited areas receiving recirculated air from designated smoking areas; smoking and nonsmoking sections of these designated smoking areas. Nicotine was collected by pumping air for periods of 1-8 hr at 1 L/min through sampling tubes containing a styrene divinylbenzene copolymer. RSPs (5 micron cut-off) were measured using an optical side scattering instrument. CO was measured by a direct reading electrochemical analyzer and CO2 by colorimetric detector tubes. Detection of nicotine in nonsmoking office areas that received recirculated air from smoking designated areas required sampling times of 4 hr or more. Nicotine levels in such offices were approximately 1.0 micrograms/m3. RSP, CO and CO2 concentrations were approximately the same in these offices as compared to nonsmoking offices not exposed to recirculated air from smoking areas. Providing a designated but not separately ventilated smoking area appears to be effective in eliminating most components of ETS from nonsmoking office work areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis*
  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis
  • Nicotine / analysis
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis*
  • Ventilation*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Nicotine
  • Carbon Monoxide