Objective: To evaluate indoor polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations in bars and restaurants and identify the main determinants of airborne PAH concentrations. Methods: This study included 57 bars/restaurants in Santiago, Chile. PAH concentrations (ng/m3) were measured using photoelectric aerosol sensor equipment (PAS 2000CE model). Nicotine concentrations (μg/m3) were measured using active sampling pumps followed by gas-chromatography. Linear regression models were used to identify determinants of PAH concentrations. Results: PAH concentrations were higher in venues that allowed smoking compared to smoke-free venues. After adjusting, the air PAH concentrations were 1.40 (0.64–3.10) and 3.34 (1.43–7.83) ng/m3 higher for tertiles 2 and 3 of air nicotine compared to the lowest tertile. Conclusions: In hospitality venues where smoking is allowed, secondhand smoke exposure is a major source of PAHs in the environment. This research further supports the importance of implementing complete smoking bans to protect service industry workers from PAH exposure. Am. J. Ind. Med. 59:887–896, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- environmental tobacco smoke
- occupational health
- polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons