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Modeling Residential Exposure to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke


We apply a simulation model to explore the effect of a house's multicompartment character on a nonsmoker's inhalation exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS). The model tracks the minute-by-minute movement of people and pollutants among multiple zones of a residence and generates SHS pollutant profiles for each room in response to room-specific smoking patterns. In applying the model, we consider SHS emissions of airborne particles, nicotine, and carbon monoxide in two hypothetical houses, one with a typical 4-room layout and one dominated by a single large space. We use scripted patterns of room-to-room occupant movement and a cohort of 5,000 activity patterns sampled from a US nationwide survey. The results for scripted and cohort simulation trials indicate that the multicompartment nature of homes, manifested as inter-room differences in pollutant levels and the movement of people among zones, can cause substantial variation in nonsmoker SHS exposure.

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