Medicine of the Future in America

Respiratory Illness in Nonsmokers Chronically Exposed to Tobacco Smoke in the Work Place (8)

Results
Work Space and Carbon Monoxide Levels
All subjects worked in an enclosed area. Nine nonsmokers and eight passive smokers worked in private offices. The mean size of the work area for passive smokers was 90 ±26 square feet and for nonsmokers, 94.5 ±26 square feet. The difference is not significant. The number of co-workers within a 60-foot radius of passive smokers averaged 11.4 ±6.8 people, of which 3.8 ± 1.3 were tobacco smokers. For nonsmokers, the number of co-workers was 11.7 ± 6.3, of which none was a smoker. To determine whether passive smokers were exposed to more tobacco smoke than nonsmokers, CO concentrations were recorded continuously for 24-h in all work areas. As seen in Table 1, there were no significant differences in CO concentration at 7:00 A.M., but during the rest of the workday, CO levels were significantly higher in passive smoker areas than in the nonsmoking areas. antibiotics levaquin
Lost Days from Work and Eye Irritation
Illness and work attendance were determined from each nine-month diary. These data were analyzed for the number of lost days from work due to chest colds and chest illnesses and then were extrapolated to represent a 12-month period. The results indicated that passive smokers missed twice as many workdays due to chest illness during an average 12-month period than did nonsmokers, M = 1.94 vs 0.74, p<0.01. Rated eye irritation was likewise significantly greater for the passive smokers than for the nonsmokers, M = 3.47 vs 1.22, whether analyzed by paired t test or Wilcoxons test for matched samples, p<0.001.

Table 1—Carbon Monoxide Concentrations (ppm) Measured during the Workday

Passive Smokers (n = 40) Nonsmokers (n = 40)
Time Mean ± SD Range Mean ± SD Range p Value
7:00 am 5.9 ± 1.1 4.1-7.9 5.6± 1.3 3.3-8.6 NS
10:00 am 11.1±5.2 4.1-24.4 6.6±3.3 3.5-12.6 <0.001
12:30 PM 9.8±4.9 4.2-20.1 6.4 ±3.0 3.4-10.7 <0.002
1:20 PM (peak CO) 15.2 ±5.4 5.9-25.8 7.3±2.0 3.8-11.7 <0.001
4:00 pm 10.8 ±6.1 4.1-20.7 7.4±3.7 3.5-12.3 <0.001
7:00 pm 6.7 ± 1.3 4.1-8.9 5.9± 1.4 3.4-9.4 <0.003
Midnight 6.3± 1.2 4.1-8.5 5.8± 1.3 3.4-9.2 <0.003
This entry was posted in Pulmonary function and tagged respiratory illness, respiratory symptoms, tobacco smoke.
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