Navigation Links
Non Smoking Workers Absorb the Carcinogen Immediately

Scientists have found that nonsmoking restaurant and bar employees absorb a potent carcinogennot considered safe at any levelwhile working in places where they had to breathe tobacco smoke from customers and co-workers. The carcinogen, NNK, is found in the body only as a result of using tobacco or breathing secondhand smoke.

Investigators at the Multnomah County Health Department and Oregon Department of Human Services report that elevated levels of NNK showed up in the urine of nonsmoking employees shortly after they encountered secondhand smoke during their shifts. Moreover, levels of NNK, which is known to cause lung cancer, increased by 6 percent for each hour of work.

This is the first study to show increases in NNK as a result of a brief workplace exposure, and that levels of this powerful carcinogen continue to increase the longer the person works in a place where smoking is permitted. NNK is a major cancer causing agent from tobacco productsand workers should not have to be exposed to any dose of this very dangerous chemical, said Michael Stark, PhD, of the Multnomah County Health Department and the studys lead author.

The science shows that the threat of disease from secondhand smoke is no longer a distant threat. The amount of this carcinogen increases even within a single work shift.

In a related study in the same issue of the Journal, experts in public health law note that across the country employers already are being held legally liable for exposing workers to secondhand smoke, even if state or local laws permit workplace smoking.

They warn that as scientists continue to provide evidence of harm, employers could soon face a clear choice: either voluntarily ban smoking in their workplace or face an increasing wave of costly legal actions.

When employers who allow smoking have scientists telling them that as soon as workers get on the job, theyre breathing in some of the most dang erous carcinogens around, its time to think about whether they want to deal with that kind of liability, said Marice Ashe with the Public Health Law Program at the Public Health Institute in Oakland, CA. and the lead author of the legal analysis. The science is making it easier and easier to persuade courts to sanction employers who continue to allow smoking.

The Stark study on the effects of workplace smoking, The Impact of Clean Indoor Air Exemptions and Preemption on the Prevalence of a Tobacco-Specific Lung Carcinogen Among Nonsmoking Bar and Restaurant Workers, was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP).

It followed 52 nonsmoking employees of bars and restaurants in Oregon communities where smoking is still permitted in such establishments and compared them to 32 nonsmoking bar and restaurant employees from other Oregon municipalities where smoking is prohibited by local ordinance. Researchers collected urine samples from both groups before and after their work-shifts and tested them for the tobacco produced lung carcinogen NNK.

What they found is that three out of four employees who worked in an establishment where smoking was permitted had detectable levels of NNK compared to fewer than half of the unexposed workers. In addition, exposure to tobacco smoke was associated with a three-fold increase in levels of the carcinogen.

The study also notes that the amount of NNK in employees exposed to tobacco smoke went up in direct relationship to the number of hours workedby 6 percent an hour on averagegiving the researchers confidence that the levels (of NNK) reported in this study do, indeed, reflect workplace exposure.

The investigators also note that their research supports the notion that the risks of secondhand tobacco smoke in the workplace are borne disproportionately by an already vulnerable group. Employees who participated in their study are typical o f foodservice workers nationwide in that the majority were women, under age 30, had relatively low household incomes, and more than one third of them lacked health insurance.

This is already a population that tends to have fewer resources to deal with health problems than many other groups so the least we can do is protect them from harmful cigarette smoke, Stark said. For young women in particular, secondhand smoke can increase the risk of having breast cancer and of giving birth prematurely or having low-birth weight babies.

In their analysis of the legal and liability issues raised by workplace smoking hazardsLegal Risks to Employers Allowing Smoking in the WorkplaceAshe and her colleagues said employees harmed by secondhand smoke already are using worker compensation laws, state and federal disability laws and an employers legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace to take action against secondhand smoke.

While in the past such cases have not always met with success, the study notes that as the scientific evidence mounts, employers will increasingly be on the losing end.

Employers are always talking about high costs of insurance and the need to reduce their potential liabilities, Ashe said. Voluntarily banning smoking and supporting state and local legislation mandating smoke-free workplaces is a relatively cheap and easy way of removing a cumbersome and costly liability.


Related medicine news :

1. New hope on the Horizon for People Wishing to Quit Smoking
2. Cancers of Colon & Rectum linked to Cigarette Smoking
3. Smoking a greater risk than HIV? Yes say health experts!!!!
4. Kick Smoking with Nicotine Drink
5. Smoking spreads Cancer
6. Prescription Drug - Helps People Stop Smoking
7. Quit Smoking
8. Smoking can depreciate intellegence
9. Smoking Delays Pregnancy
10. Smoking Linked To Low Infant Birth Weight
11. GlaxoSmithKline To Cultivate Non-Smoking Environment
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... T-System and ... more than 59,000 emergency department visits per year, today announced the successful and ... help improve clinical, operational and financial outcomes. , In less than ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... Tempe Dental Care, a leading Tempe dentists’ office, celebrates offering gentle, ... for more than 5 years. A leading cause of emergency room visits, school ... is not timely. , Sedation dentistry provides an anxiety-free dental experience ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... ... World Patent Marketing , a vertically integrated manufacturer and engineer of ... in clearing snow away from the streets and driveways. , "The Snowplowing Services industry ... Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing and Desa Industries ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... According to an ESPN ... orbital fracture when a teammate accidentally elbowed him in the left eye during the ... injury is just one of a series of setbacks, including a knee injury that ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Irving, TX (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 ... ... has tapped Dr. Bill Saye as the newest professional to introduce the latest ... Saye is highly recognized as a leading professional in Obstetrics and Gynecology and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015  Measurement in accountable care programs ... financial incentives, but gaps in measurement can result ... health systems. A new, peer-reviewed study published ... explores measurement gaps for high-priority conditions ... --> --> "These ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 2015  Nanomedical Diagnostics, a biotech company developing ... diagnostics, announces the completion of a Series A ... Ventures. --> ... monitoring and diagnostic platforms that empower individuals to ... will enable the company to commercially release AGILE ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13 2015 ... the addition of the "US & ... 16 Countries (2010-2021)" report to their ... announced the addition of the "US ... - 16 Countries (2010-2021)" report to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: