Unintentional environmental exposure to toxicants is associated with an aggravated health status of the general population. Involuntary smoking (IS) exposure is one of the main routes to involuntary toxicants exposure. However, few studies have attempted to understand the environmental cadmium exposure by IS exposure in the general, nonsmoking population. The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between blood cadmium level and IS level according to gender and age. We used the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) IV-VI data that included heavy metal and urine cotinine sampling with IS exposure history. The final analysis comprised 3,493 adults (1,231 males and 2,262 females) and 395 adolescents (210 males and 185 females). Linear regression was performed to estimate the association between self-reported IS exposure with urine cotinine level and blood cadmium level in non-smokers with gender and age group stratification. In final regression model, the effect values (B) (standard errors [SE]) between blood cadmium and urine cotinine level in men was 0.0004 (0.0001) and 0.0006 (0.0002) in adults and adolescents, the B (SE) in women was 0.0006 (0.0002) and 0.0016 (0.0006) in adults and adolescents. Our study revealed, for the first time, a significant association between blood cadmium and IS exposure in non-smokers. Greater efforts are needed to improve environmental justices of the general population from IS, considering the severe harmful effects of involuntary exposure to even a low level of cadmium.
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© 2017 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.
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