Secondhand smoke exposure within semi-open air cafes and tobacco specific 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) concentrations among nonsmoking employees

  • Constantine I. Vardavas
  • Maria Karabela
  • Israel T. Agaku
  • Yuko Matsunaga
  • Antonis Myridakis
  • Antonis Kouvarakis
  • Euripides G. Stephanou
  • Maria Lymperi
  • Panagiotis K. Behrakis
Short Communication

DOI: 10.2478/s13382-014-0294-4

Cite this article as:
Vardavas, C.I., Karabela, M., Agaku, I.T. et al. IJOMEH (2014) 27: 875. doi:10.2478/s13382-014-0294-4

Abstract

Objectives

Secondhand smoke (SHS) is a defined occupational hazard. The association though between SHS exposure in semi-open air venues and tobacco specific carcinogen uptake is an area of debate.

Material and Methods

A cross sectional survey of 49 semi-open air cafes in Athens, Greece was performed during the summer of 2008, prior to the adoption of the national smoke free legislation. All venues had at least 1 entire wall open to allow for free air exchange. Indoor concentrations of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) attributable to SHS were assessed during a work shift, while 1 non-smoking employee responsible for indoor and outdoor table service from each venue provided a post work shift urine sample for analysis of 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL).

Results

Post work shift NNAL concentrations were correlated with work shift PM2.5 concentrations attributable to SHS (r = 0.376, p = 0.0076). Urinary NNAL concentrations among employees increased by 9.5%, per 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentrations attributable to SHS after controlling for the time of day and day of week.

Conclusions

These results indicate that the commonly proposed practice of maintaining open sliding walls as a means of free air exchange does not lead to the elimination of employee exposure to tobacco specific carcinogens attributable to workplace SHS.

Key words

PM2.5Occupational exposureNNALSecond hand smokeHospitality venueSemi open

Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constantine I. Vardavas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria Karabela
    • 2
  • Israel T. Agaku
    • 1
  • Yuko Matsunaga
    • 1
  • Antonis Myridakis
    • 3
  • Antonis Kouvarakis
    • 3
  • Euripides G. Stephanou
    • 3
  • Maria Lymperi
    • 4
  • Panagiotis K. Behrakis
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Global Tobacco ControlHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Smoking and Lung Cancer Research CenterHellenic Cancer SocietyAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory (ECPL)University of CreteCreteGreece
  4. 4.Medical SchoolUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  5. 5.Department of Environmental HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  6. 6.Center for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA