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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

SDSU: Study on Silicone Wristbands Shows Promise for Measuring Tobacco Product Exposure in Children

Dr. Penelope Quintana and Dr. Eunha Hoh in the San Diego State University School of Public Health (SPH) at have published an article that suggests that silicone wristband samplers can measure children’s exposure to secondhand smoke and to secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes. Since exposure assessment in children can be challenging, silicone wristbands are a potentially useful tool due to acceptability and ease of use. The article, published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, studied three groups of children, those exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke indoors, those exposed to e-cigarette vapor indoors, and those not exposed to either. The children wore one wristbands for seven days and two wristbands for the last two days, which were both analyzed for nicotine. After seven days of monitoring, the children provided a urine sample which was analyzed for cotinine, a measure of absorbed nicotine. Dr. Quintana states that she was extremely surprised with how well the urine and wristband measures correlated, and how well this worked with such simple instructions of wearing the wristbands. The two measures are strongly correlated over two orders of magnitude.

The researchers also plan to measure other compounds related to tobacco and air pollution in the wristbands. Dr. Hoh and colleague Dr. Carlos Manzano at the University of Chile have measured air pollutants and consumer products in a study in Santiago, Chile, in a ‘proof of concept’ study. At SDSU SPH, future investigations into the utility of the silicone wristbands for exposure assessment include investigating whether the wristbands can measure exposure to thirdhand smoke in a new study beginning this year, part of the California Consortium for Thirdhand Smoke.