On November 21, 2022, the Editorial Office of Journal of Environmental Exposure Assessment (JEEA) had the privilege of conducting a special interview with Prof. Noel J. Aquilina (Department of Chemistry, University of Malta, Msida, Malta). Guest Moderator Prof. Nan Lin (Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China) and Prof. Aquilina had a wonderful academic discussion.
Prof. Aquilina has made lots of achievements in tobacco exposure research. In the interview, he gave a detailed introduction to the article "Tobacco-specific and combustion pollutants in settled house dust in Malta", which was published on JEEA in February 2022. Meanwhile, Prof. Lin exchanged ideas with him on some issues of concern based on this article (See question 4 for details).
Currently, Prof. Aquilina is collaborating with Prof. Peyton Jacob, III (Department of Medicine and Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA) to lead the Special Issue "The Triangulum: Tobacco, Marijuana, and E-Cigarettes. Contributions to Thirdhand Smoke and Implications for Human Exposure". In the interview, he also introduced the Special Issue and made good expectations for it.
Here are the details of the interview:
1. What inspires you to engage in this direction?
2. Could you please talk about the latest advances in your current research?
3. Could you please introduce to our readers the highlights of your article "Tobacco-specific and combustion pollutants in settled house dust in Malta"?
4. BaPeq (Benzo(a)pyrene equivalent) was calculated in your article. Have you estimated the cancer risk? In addition, as for NNN (N'-nitrosonornicotine) and NNK (4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone), [two of TSNA (tobacco-specific nitrosamines)], as carcinogens, are there any available cancer risk assessments, like the value of Unit Risk?
5. Could you please make an introduction to the Special Issue you are leading?
6. Traditional tobacco issue has been investigated a lot, and studies on marijuana and E-cigarettes are also on the rise. So what kind of studies or manuscripts do you expect to see in this Special Issue?
Prof. Noel Aquilina received his Ph.D. at the University of Birmingham under the supervision of Prof. Roy M. Harrison (the Queen Elizabeth II Birmingham Centenary Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Birmingham and Fellow of the Royal Society). He was a visiting researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with Dr. Randy Maddalena (Senior Scientist in the Energy Technologies Area, indoor air pollutants) and an invited researcher at the University of California, San Francisco under Emeritus Prof. Neal L. Benowitz (preeminent expert on nicotine research).
He is an Associate Professor in Atmospheric Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Malta, Malta, and an Affiliate Researcher within the Thirdhand Smoke Consortium of the University of California. He made a substantial contribution to research in exposure science. He was involved in initial studies linking airborne particle-phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) obtained from low-volume samples to their metabolites. His research activities cover: (1) modeling the exposure to various pollutants by applying machine learning algorithms; (2) developing analytical methods to extract tobacco-specific pollutants from different matrices; and (3) carrying out measurements of pollutants in indoor environments and optimizing analytical work to advance knowledge of the composition of airborne particulate matter.
Respectfully Submitted by the Editorial Office
Journal of Environmental Exposure Assessment