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Current intelligence bulletin 54 - environmental tobacco smoke in the workplace, lung cancer and other health effects.

Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 91-108, (CIB 54), 1991 Jun; :1-18
NIOSH has determined that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is potentially carcinogenic to occupationally exposed workers. In 1964, the surgeon general issued the first report on smoking and health, which concluded that cigarette smoke causes lung cancer. Since then, research on the toxicity and carcinogenicity of tobacco smoke has demonstrated that the health risk from inhaling tobacco smoke is not limited to the smoker, but also includes those who inhale ETS. ETS contains many of the toxic agents and carcinogens that are present in mainstream smoke, but in diluted form. recent epidemiologic studies support and reinforce earlier published reviews by the surgeon general and the national research council demonstrating that exposure to ETS can cause lung cancer. These reviews estimated the relative risk of lung cancer to be approximately 1.3 for a nonsmoker living with a smoker compared with a nonsmoker living with a nonsmoker. Recent evidence suggests a possible association between exposure of nonsmokers to ETS and an increased risk of heart disease. Although these data were not gathered in an occupational setting, ETS meets the criteria of OSHA for classifying substances as potential occupational carcinogens. NIOSH recommends that ETS be regarded as a potential occupational carcinogen in conformance with the OSHA carcinogen policy, and that exposures to ETS be reduced to the lowest feasible concentration. Employers should minimize occupational exposure to ETS by using all available preventive measures.
Toxic-materials; Air-quality; Air-contamination; Pollution; Risk-analysis; Occupational-exposure; Indoor-air-pollution; Inhalation-studies; Malignant-neoplasms; Carcinogens; Cardiovascular-disease; Indoor-environmental-quality
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Numbered Publication; Current Intelligence Bulletin
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DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 91-108; CIB 54
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division