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Revista médica de Chile

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ACEITUNO, PAULINA et al. The work environment as a source of exposure to secondhand smoke: a study in workers of bars and restaurants of Santiago, Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2010, vol.138, n.12, pp.1517-1523. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Secondhand smoke (SHS) is an established cause of morbidity and mortality among non-smokers. The workplace is an important source of exposure, especially among workers of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Aim: To estimate the daily occupational exposure to SHS among non-smoking workers of bars and restaurants of Santiago, Chile. Material and Methods: Environmental vapor-phase nico-tine was measured for 95 non-smoking workers of bars and restaurants of Santiago, using passive personal samplers during a daily work shift and outside the workplace. Results: The median occupational exposure to air nicotine was 9.18 µg/m3 (P25-P75 3.15-25.67 µg/m3). Higher concentrations were found among workers of places with no smoking restrictions (22.72 µg/m3; P25-P75 5.73-34.85 µg/m3), bar workers (20.75 µg/m3, P25-P75 5.03-44.67 µg/m3), waiters (20.57 µg/m3, PP25-P75 5.66-42.73 µg/m3) and bartenders (10.37 µg/m3, P25-P75 9.75-25.67 µg/m3). The median concentration of nicotine outside the workplace was 1.79 µg/m3 (P25-P75 1.02-3.00 µg/m3). Occupational exposure was 4.77 times higher compared to the non-work exposure. Conclusions: Workers of bars and restaurants are exposed to high levels of SHS at the workplace. Moreover, occupational exposure among these non-smoking workers is, in most cases, the main source of daily exposure to this pollutant.

Keywords : Confined spaces; Nicotine; Smoking.

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