The aims were to assess the impact of a total smoking ban on the level of airborne contaminants and the urinary cotinine levels in the employees in bars and restaurants. In a follow up design, 13 bars and restaurants were visited before and after the implementation of a smoking ban. Ninety-three employees in the establishments were initially included into the study. The arithmetic mean concentration of nicotine and total dust declined from 28.3 microg m(-3) (range, 0.4-88.0) and 262 microg m(-3) (range, 52-662), respectively, to 0.6 microg m(-3) (range, not detected-3.7) and 77 microg m(-3) (range, not detected-261) after the smoking ban. The Pearson correlation coefficient between airborne nicotine and total dust was 0.86 (p
OBJECTIVE: We investigated if asphalt workers showed signs of lung epithelial injury as shown by increased Clara cell protein 16 (CC16) in serum after 6 months of exposure. METHODS: Asphalt pavers, asphalt plant operators, and asphalt engineers underwent lung function tests and blood samples before the start of the asphalt season. The tests were repeated before the end of the asphalt season. Blood samples were analyzed for concentration of CC16 and interleukin-6 (IL-6). RESULTS: After adjustment for current smoking, the pavers had a significantly larger increase in CC16 concentrations after the season as compared with that of the engineers and plant operators. In pavers, the change in serum CC16 was correlated with the change in IL-6. CONCLUSION: CC16 increased over the season in pavers and appears to be a useful biomarker for lung epithelial injury in exposed workers.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to investigate biomarkers of selenium status in relation to smoking habits and to analyze the time-trend of selenium in serum (S-Se) in Norway during the time period 1995-2006. METHODS: The impact of smoking habits was investigated in a population recruited to a cross-sectional study of blue-collar workers in the southern part of the country (n=98). The time-trend was studied in all subjects who delivered blood samples for the determination of S-Se to a large commercial clinical chemistry laboratory in Norway. RESULTS: Smokers had 0.14 and 0.20 micromol/L lower concentrations of selenium in whole blood (B-Se) and serum, respectively, than non-smokers. The amount of smoking, as assessed by the serum cotinine concentration, was negatively associated with the B-Se concentration (Pearson's r=-0.43). The 1/3 of the blue-collar workers with the lowest concentrations of B-Se or S-Se had lower activity of glutathione peroxidase in serum (S-GSHpx) than the remaining subjects. Snuff users had about the same levels of B-Se and S-Se as the non-smokers, although they had about the same amount of nicotine metabolites in urine and serum as the smokers. A decreasing trend of S-Se was observed during the observation period from 1995 to 2006. The mean concentration was 1.26 micromol/L in 1995, while the lowest mean concentration was measured in 2003 (1.01 micromol/L). CONCLUSION: Smoking, but not snuffing, is associated with lower concentrations of B-Se and S-Se. The reduction of B-Se is negatively associated with the nicotine biomarker cotinine in serum. A substantial proportion of blue-collar workers had not maximized the activity of S-GSHpx. Selenium status may have become poorer since 1995.