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Nitromethane Exposure from Tobacco Smoke and Diet in the U.S. Population: NHANES, 2007–2012

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journal contribution
posted on 23.01.2019, 00:00 by Michael F. Espenship, Lalith K. Silva, Mitchell M. Smith, Kimberly M. Capella, Christopher M. Reese, Jonathan P. Rasio, Andrew M. Woodford, Nathan B. Geldner, B. Rey deCastro, Víctor R. De Jesús, Benjamin C. Blount
Nitromethane is a known toxicant and suspected human carcinogen. Exposure to nitromethane in a representative sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population in the United States ≥12 years old was assessed using 2007–2012 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) data. Nitromethane was detected in all 8000 human blood samples collected, of which 6730 were used for analyses reported here. Sample-weighted median blood nitromethane was higher among exclusive combusted tobacco users (exclusive smokers; 774 ng/L) than nonusers of tobacco products (625 ng/L). In stratified sample-weighted regression analysis, smoking 0.5 pack of cigarettes per day was associated with a statistically significant increase in blood nitromethane by 150 ng/L, and secondhand smoke exposure (serum cotinine >0.05 ng/mL and <10 ng/mL) was statistically significant with a 31.1 ng/L increase in blood nitromethane. Certain dietary sources were associated with small but statistically significant increases in blood nitromethane. At median consumption levels, blood nitromethane was associated with an increase of 7.55 ng/L (meat/poultry), 9.32 ng/L (grain products), and 14.5 ng/L (vegetables). This is the first assessment of the magnitude and relative source apportionment of nitromethane exposure in the U.S. population.