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Risk Anal. 1998 Feb;18(1):71-83.

Air nicotine and saliva cotinine as indicators of workplace passive smoking exposure and risk.

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Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460, USA.


We model nicotine from environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in office air and salivary cotinine in nonsmoking U.S. workers. We estimate that: an average salivary cotinine level of 0.4 ng/ml corresponds to an increased lifetime mortality risk of 1/1000 for lung cancer, and 1/100 for heart disease; > 95% of ETS-exposed office workers exceed OSHA's significant risk level for heart disease mortality, and 60% exceed significant risk for lung cancer mortality; 4000 heart disease deaths and 400 lung cancer deaths occur annually among office workers from passive smoking in the workplace, at the current 28% prevalence of unrestricted smoking in the office workplace.

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