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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634

Abstract

BARRIENTOS-GUTIERREZ, Tonatiuh et al. Environmental tobacco smoke exposure in homes of Mexico City: analysis of environmental samples and children and women hair. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2007, vol.49, suppl.2, pp. s224-s232. ISSN 0036-3634.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342007000800012.

OBJECTIVE: In Mexico no evaluation of environmental tobacco smoke exposure in homes or habitants has been conducted. The objective of this study is to quantify environmental nicotine in Mexico City homes, simultaneously evaluating nicotine levels in children and women. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In July 2005 a convenience sample of 41 homes was selected, 20% without smokers, 80% with smokers. Nicotine passive monitors were allocated in homes for one week, obtaining samples of hair from inhabitant non-smoking women and children. Samples were taken to the Johns Hopkins University where nicotine was extracted and analyzed using gas chromatography. A survey of opinions and behaviors related to environmental tobacco smoke was conducted. RESULTS: Environmental nicotine concentrations had a median of 0.08 µg/m3 (IQR 0.01-0.64), in children’s hair 0.05 ng/mg (IQR 0.05-0.29), and in women’s hair 0.05 ng/mg (IQR 0.05-0.19). Environmental nicotine concentrations and in children’s hair were highly correlated (rS=0.49), and increased with the number of smokers at home. The majority of adults surveyed showed support towards measures of environmental tobacco smoke control. CONCLUSIONS: Homes are important spaces of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Particularly high levels of exposure were observed in children’s hair, attributable to the presence of environmental nicotine at home. Integral preventive activities to eliminate active smoking and to avoid tobacco consumption at home are required.

Keywords : tobacco smoke; nicotine; air; hair; homes; children; women; Mexico.

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