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Declining trends in serum cotinine levels in US worker groups: the power of policy.
Arheart-KL; Lee-DJ; Dietz-NA; Wilkinson-JD; Clark-JD III; LeBlanc-WG; Serdar-B; Fleming-LE
J Occup Environ Med 2008 Jan; 50(1):57-63
OBJECTIVE: To explore trends in cotinine levels in US worker groups. METHODS: Using NHANES III data, serum cotinine levels of US workers not smokers nor exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) at home were evaluated for trends by occupational/industrial and race/ethnicity-gender sub-groups. RESULTS: Decreases from 1988 to 2002 ranged from 0.08 to 0.30 ng/mL (67% to 85% relative decrease), with largest absolute reductions in: blue-collar and service occupations; construction/manufacturing industrial sectors; non-Hispanic Black male workers. CONCLUSIONS: All worker groups had declining serum cotinine levels. Most dramatic reductions occurred in sub-groups with the highest before cotinine levels, thus disparities in SHS workforce exposure are diminishing with increased adoption of clean indoor laws. However, Black male workers, construction/manufacturing sector workers, and blue-collar and service workers have the highest cotinine levels. Further reductions in SHS exposure will require widespread adoption of workplace clean air laws without exemptions.
Workers; Worker-health; Public-health; Health-hazards; Smoking; Group-behavior; Racial-factors
Lora E. Fleming, MD, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, P.O. Box 016069 (R-669), Miami, FL 33101
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division