Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Endotoxins in cigarette smoke

19.08.2004


A room where people smoke contains dozens or hundreds of times higher air concentrations of endotoxins than smoke-free indoor air. This has been shown by a research team from Lund University. Endotoxin is the name of a group of poisonous substances produced by bacteria and naturally occurring in the air and elsewhere. In normal low concentrations, endotoxins are not dangerous; indeed, they might play a role in protecting us against allergies. But at higher levels of concentration they induce serious inflammatory reactions in the respiratory tract.



Endotoxins have long been known for their powerful capacity to cause inflammations. Dust rich in endotoxins constitutes a health risk in many workplaces and is seen as a key explanation for the high incidence of chronic bronchitis among farmers. Endotoxins from construction materials, dust, plants, etc. in the home can also contribute to asthma. On the other hand, it had not been clearly shown previously that cigarette smoke contains true endotoxins, i.e. bacterial lipopolysaccharides.

In its experiments, the Lund team, headed by Associate Professor Lennart Larsson, has tried to simulate both passive and active smoking. For the latter, they set up equipment that “smoked” a cigarette in 8-10 minutes and captured the contents of the smoke in a filter. For passive smoking, they “smoked” one cigarette every half hour in an unventilated room for seven hours and compared it with a similar room without smoke. The results, presented in the international journal Indoor Air, show that the level of the toxic substances in the air of the smoky room was a full 120 times higher than in a smoke-free room. Moreover, the tobacco endotoxin seemed to be the most aggressive sort among the various forms that exist.


The key to the finding is a unique method of chemical analysis that the Lund scientists have developed over many years to identify endotoxins in clinical trials and environmental tests. Using this method, they have verified the results presented a few years ago by the American scientist Jeffrey Hasday indicating that there may be endotoxins in cigarette smoke.

“This can be one reason why smokers so often suffer from respiratory ailments. The fact that passive smoking entails exposure to extremely high concentrations of endotoxins is an entirely new breakthrough” says Lennart Larsson, who hopes the new knowledge will be of use in anti-smoking campaigns.

The Lund team now wants to move on to see whether endotoxins from tobacco smoke can fasten onto particles of dust, thereby lingering in an environment where someone once smoked. They also aim to study how ventilation influences the levels of endotoxins from cigarette smoke in indoor air.

Ingela Björck | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>