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February 14, 1996

Occupational Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke

Author Affiliations

R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co Winston-Salem, NC

JAMA. 1996;275(6):441. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530300025018

To the Editor.  —The article by Dr Hammond and colleagues1 appears to contain a serious error in data calculation. The authors state that passive monitors for nicotine were exposed for "1 week." Assuming this means 7 days, the monitors were exposed for a period of 168 hours. However, it appears that the authors used only 45 hours in the calculation of airborne nicotine concentration (with the possible exception of samples acquired at "fire stations"). If so, correcting this miscalculation significantly alters the conclusions with respect to potential worker risk as stated in their article and in the accompanying American Medical Association news release.All official analysis methods of which I am aware (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, American Society for Testing and Materials, International Standards Organization, Association of Official Analytical Chemists, etc) require that airborne concentration be calculated using