Cigarette smoking increases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and premature death. Aromatic amines (AA) are found in cigarette smoke and are well-established human bladder carcinogens.


We measured and compared total urinary levels of 1-aminonaphthalene (1AMN), 2-aminonaphthalene (2AMN), and 4-aminobiphenyl (4ABP) in adults who smoked cigarettes exclusively and in adult nonusers of tobacco products from a nationally representative sample of non-institutionalized U.S. population in the 2013–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.


Sample-weighted geometric mean concentrations of AAs in adults who smoked cigarettes exclusively compared with adult nonusers were 30 times higher for 1AMN and 4 to 6 times higher for 2AMN and 4ABP. We evaluated the association of tobacco-smoke exposure with urinary AAs using sample-weighted multiple linear regression models to control for age, sex, race/ethnicity, diet, and urinary creatinine. Secondhand smoke exposure status was categorized using serum cotinine (SCOT) among adult nonusers (SCOT ≤ 10 ng/mL). The exposure for adults who smoked cigarettes exclusively (SCOT > 10 ng/mL) was categorized on the basis of the average number of self-reported cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) in the five days prior to urine collection. The regression models show AAs concentration increased with increasing CPD (P < 0.001). Dietary-intake variables derived from the 24-hours recall questionnaire were not consistently significant predictors of urinary AAs.


This is the first characterized total urinary AA concentrations of the U.S. adult non-institutionalized population. Our analyses show that smoking status is a major contributor to AA exposures.


These data provide a crucial baseline for exposure to three AAs in U.S. non-institutionalized adults.

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