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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Secondhand smoke at workplace doubles the risk of cancer

eitb24: Writing in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers said that for nonsmokers who were highly exposed to secondhand smoke at work, there was approximately a 100 percent increase in lung cancer risk.

High levels of secondhand smoke on the job can double nonsmokers' risk of developing lung cancer, and those who inhale it at work long-term face a 50 percent higher risk, researchers said on Wednesday. Scientists led by epidemiologist Leslie Stayner of the University of Illinois at Chicago combined the results of 22 studies on secondhand smoke conducted in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Japan and China.

Writing in the American Journal of Public Health, they said that for nonsmokers who were highly exposed to secondhand smoke at work, there was approximately a 100 percent increase in lung cancer risk.

The researchers adopted the previous studies' definitions of high exposure, based on factors like the numbers of smokers present in the workplace and actual amounts of smoke exposure. Lung cancer risk for nonsmokers exposed for 30 years to secondhand smoke on the job jumped by 50 percent. Nonsmokers exposed to any secondhand smoke in the workplace experienced a 24 percent increased risk that rose based on level and duration of exposure, they said.

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