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Nonsmokers Exposed to Smoke Get Carcinogen

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MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec 22, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- University of Minnesota researchers found non-smokers who visited a public building allowing smokers had increased levels of a tobacco lung carcinogen.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, said the tobacco specific carcinogen, NNK, could increase peoples risk of lung cancer.

"Environmental tobacco smoke in restaurants, bars and casinos presents a potential health hazard to employees and non-smoking patrons," said lead author Kristin Anderson.

"However, further studies are needed to examine the long-term health effects, on employees and patrons, of transient exposure to environmental tobacco smoke."

The biomarkers of the 18 study participants were measured in urine samples from non-smokers before and after a four-hour visit to a casino where smoking was allowed.

Before the visit, levels of the carcinogen were below the limit of detection in 11 participants. Only three participants had levels of the carcinogen below the limit of detection in the after-visit samples.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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