Background and objective: To estimate the excess lung cancer mortality risk associated with environmental tobacco (ETS) smoke exposure among hospitality workers. The estimation was done using objective measures in several hospitality settings in Barcelona.
Method: Vapour phase nicotine was measured in several hospitality settings. These measurements were used to estimate the excess lung cancer mortality risk associated with ETS exposure for a 40 year working life, using the formula developed by Repace and Lowrey.
Results: Excess lung cancer mortality risk associated with ETS exposure was higher than 145 deaths per 100,000 workers in all places studied, except for cafeterias in hospitals, where excess lung cancer mortality risk was 22 per 100,000. In discoteques, for comparison, excess lung cancer mortality risk is 1,733 deaths per 100,000 workers.
Conclusion: Hospitality workers are exposed to ETS levels related to a very high excess lung cancer mortality risk. These data confirm that ETS control measures are needed to protect hospital workers.