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Two different kinds of particle measurement principals registered a buildup of small particles (0.01 μm and larger) produced from contaminated room surfaces exposed to sidestream tobacco smoke (SS). We show that room surfaces can act as secondary sources, after being contaminated with SS, when the room has been ventilated with particle HEPA-filtered air but not with non-particle filtered air. The mechanism we suggest as an explanation of the observed phenomena is a vaporization and diffusion of gases which starts a gas-to-particle conversion. This phenomenon can be used to investigate whether surfaces in a room or smoke chamber are contaminated with ETS. The conversion of gas-to-particles is a sign of how surfaces exposed to ETS first act as sinks and then become secondary sources. When estimating the exposure from ETS, the ETS-contaminated surfaces long term effect should not be forgotten.
secondary source, gas-to-particle conversion, sidestream smoke, surfaces, sinks, particle filtered air, ETS
Senior research engineer, National Institute for Working Life, Solna,