Occupational secondhand smoke is the main determinant of hair nicotine concentrations in bar and restaurant workers

Verónica Iglesias, Marcia Erazo, Andrea Droppelmann, Kyle Steenland, Paulina Aceituno, Cecilia Orellana, Marisol Acuña, Armando Peruga, Patrick N. Breysse, Ana Navas-Acien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the relative contribution of occupational vs. non-occupational secondhand tobacco smoke exposure to overall hair nicotine concentrations in non-smoking bar and restaurant employees. Method: We recruited 76 non-smoking employees from venues that allowed smoking (n=9), had mixed policies (smoking and non-smoking areas, n=13) or were smoke-free (n=2) between April and August 2008 in Santiago, Chile. Employees used personal air nicotine samplers during working and non-working hours for a 24-h period to assess occupational vs. non-occupational secondhand tobacco smoke exposure and hair nicotine concentrations to assess overall secondhand tobacco smoke exposure. Results: Median hair nicotine concentrations were 1.5ng/mg, interquartile range (IQR) 0.7 to 5.2ng/mg. Time weighted average personal air nicotine concentrations were higher during working hours (median 9.7, IQR 3.3-25.4μg/m3) compared to non-working hours (1.7, 1.0-3.1μg/m3). Hair nicotine concentration was best predicted by personal air nicotine concentration at working hours. After adjustment, a 2-fold increase in personal air nicotine concentration in working hours was associated with a 42% increase in hair nicotine concentration (95% confidence interval 14-70%). Hair nicotine concentration was not associated with personal air nicotine concentration during non-working hours (non-occupational exposure). Conclusions: Personal air nicotine concentration at working hours was the major determinant of hair nicotine concentrations in non-smoking employees from Santiago, Chile. Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure during working hours is a health hazard for hospitality employees working in venues where smoking is allowed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-211
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental research
Volume132
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke
  • Hair nicotine concentration
  • Non-smoking employees
  • Personal sampler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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    Iglesias, V., Erazo, M., Droppelmann, A., Steenland, K., Aceituno, P., Orellana, C., Acuña, M., Peruga, A., Breysse, P. N., & Navas-Acien, A. (2014). Occupational secondhand smoke is the main determinant of hair nicotine concentrations in bar and restaurant workers. Environmental research, 132, 206-211. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2014.03.044