Childhood Asthma/Tobacco Smoke



Fate and Transport

Exposure Pathway

Methods for Monitoring in the Environment

Methods for Measuring Human Exposure

Strategies for Preventing or Controlling Exposure

Respiratory Harmful Effects

Deposition, Absorption, and Metabolism

Dose-Response Relationship

Organ Sites of Toxicity


Risk Assessment/Risk Management Considerations


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Exposure Pathway of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)

  • ETS is a lung irritant, particularly for a child with asthma. Recall:
    o children breathe more air than adults, and have narrower airways
    o asthma is characterized by inflammation of the lungs

  • ETS is transported via air, and inhaled into the lungs by nonsmokers
  • Hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the upper airway mucous glands leads to an increase in mucous production, associated with increased cough and phlegm

  • Chronic inflammation of the smaller airways occurs, on top of the already inflamed respiratory system of an individual with asthma

  • Acrolein and acetone are known to affect mucocilliary function, which leads to inhibition of the ability to clear smoke particles from lung