Dissolution Measurements of Smoke Particles in a Liquid Based Suspension


Tobacco smoke is a complex chemical mixture in which, over 5600 species have been identified (1). The complex chemistry is such that the smoke particles may be expected to have both hydrophilic and hydrophobic character. Tobacco smoke particles suspended in water were characterised using nanoparticle tracking analysis giving particle size data at different time points from thirty minutes to six months post smoke capture in the water. The average modal particle size of the smoke particles suspended in water was 156 ± 55nm compared to 207 ± 4nm for the fresh smoke aerosol. This suggests that 57% of the smoke particle by volume is lost within the first thirty minutes due to rapid dissolution of the water soluble species in the particle. There were no statistically significant differences between the particle sizes measured at any of the subsequent time points, implying that there is no long term dissolution of smoke particles in water. If these findings hold true for particles in the lining of the deep lung there could be implications for the cumulative particle dose to the deep lung where particle clearance mechanisms are slow.

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