Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure in children with asthma-relation between lead and cadmium, and cotinine concentrations in urine.Respir Med. 2005 Dec; 99(12):1521-7.RM
Exposure to heavy metals from environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) was investigated in 23 children with asthma (8.4+/-3.7 yr). ETS exposure was assessed by an inquiry data-based exposure index, the urinary concentration of cotinine (U-cotinine; a major nicotine metabolite) and the house dust (fine and coarse fractions) concentrations of nicotine at home. The corresponding concentrations of the heavy metals cadmium and lead in dust and urine (U-Cd; U-Pb) were determined in the same samples. There were strong associations between the ETS exposure index and U-cotinine (r(s)=0.62; P<0.002) and nicotine in house dust (r(s)=0.77; P<0.001). There was a strong positive correlation between lead and cadmium concentrations in both fine (r(s)=0.86; P<0.001) and coarse dust (r(s)=0.57; P=0.02). Although, there was a tendency for a relation between nicotine and lead concentrations in fine dust (r(s)=0.52; P=0.06), no other significant associations were found between house dust metals and nicotine concentrations. U-Cd correlated well with U-cotinine (r(s)=0.50; P=0.02). Further, U-Pb were associated with U-cotinine, however not statistically significant (r(s)=0.41; P=0.06). A probable explanation is a direct inhalation of side-stream smoke containing heavy metals and/ or an increased pulmonary uptake, due to a small airways disease in children with asthma.