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The Cadmium, Nickel and Lead Content of Tobacco and Cigarette Smoke

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The cadmium, nickel and lead contents of a variety of tobacco types and their respective cigarette smokes have been measured by atomic absorption analysis. Their levels in tobacco were found to be in the ranges 0.5 to 3.5, 4 to 9.5 and 8 to 23 µg/g respectively. The transfer of cadmium from tobacco to mainstream particulate phase was less than 25%, whereas for nickel it was less than 5% and for lead less than 10 %. Commercial filters were found to retain more than 50% of cadmium presented to them. The Ievels of the metals in the vapour phase portion of smoke were found to be lower than those in the particulate phase, values for lead being higher than those of cadmium or nickel. A smalI number of samples have been examined with respect to country of origin, curing processes and plant position which show some differences in metal content. These differences, in our opinion, are indicative of the Iikely spread of values rather than reflecting real differences due to the source of the tobacco or its treatment after harvesting

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General Interest, Life Sciences, other, Physics