Tobacco Education Center


Chemicals Restaurant and Bar Employees Breathe (2004)
Chemicals from Second-Hand Smoke:

What a typical restaurant or bar employee would inhale

The amount of selected adverse chemicals in tobacco smoke that a restaurant or bar employee weighing approximately 140 pounds would directly inhale (not the total exposure amount) over an 8-hour shift in a 300m2 area. These calculations assume 10 smokers per 300m2 each smoking 2 cigarettes per hour1 totaling 160 cigarettes over the 8-hour time period, and take into account standard ventilation rates.2 These calculations can be found at: www.smoke-free.ca/eng_issues/etschems2.htm

Amount of Chemicals Inhaled by A Restaurant Employee

Capitalized chemicals cause cancer and all chemicals listed cause adverse health effects.

CHEMICAL Amount (ug)

Carbon Monoxide 5606

Tar 3128

Nicotine 678

ACETALDEHYDE 207

Nitric Oxide 190

Isoprene 151

Acetone 121

Toluene 66

FORMALDEHYDE 54

Phenol 44

Acrolein 40

BENZENE 36

Pyridine 33

1,3-BUTADIENE 25

Hydroquinone 24

Methyl Ethyl Ketone 23

Catechol 22

Propionaldehyde 17

Cresols 15

Hydrogen Cyanide 14

Styrene 13

Butyraldehyde 12

ACRYLONITRILE 11

CROTONALDEHYDE 10

QUINOLINE 1.3

Resorcinol 123

BENZO[A}PYRENE 18

CADMIUM 9.7

1 –Aminonaphthalene 8.5

CHROMIUM 7.1

LEAD 6.0

2-AMINONAPHTALENE 5.2

NICKEL 4.2

3-Aminobiphenyl 2.4

4-AMINOBIPHENYL 1.4


1 Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights: Questions and Answers Regarding Eliminating Smoking in Restaurants. February 5, 1992. 2 ASHRAE Standard (62-1981) office ventilation rate of lOL/second per person (assuming 7 persons per 100 meters squared floor space). According to American's for Nonsmoker's Rights: Protecting Nonsmokers from Secondhand Smoke (fact sheet), these ventilation rates would need to be improved 270 times, at enormous cost, to reduce the carcinogenic risk from tobacco smoke to federal (US) accepted levels. This would "create a virtual windstorm indoors".



Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, June 1999




 



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