Nicotine Exposure in Green Tobacco Harvesters

잎담배 수확 작업자의 니코틴 노출

Lee, Yun-Keun;Kim, Won;Choi, In-Ja

  • Received : 2010.04.30
  • Accepted : 2010.06.15
  • Published : 2010.06.30


Green tobacco sickness (GTS) is an illness associated with nicotine exposures among tobacco harvesters. The purposes of this study were to measure the concentration of nicotine residues on the hands and forearms of tobacco harvesters, and to compare the concentrations according to the harvesting task. Wipe samples from the both hands and forearms were obtained from 16 workers at three sampling times (before work, in the morning after harvesting leaves, and in the afternoon after binding leaves). The geometric means of the right and left hand nicotine levels in harvesting work were 0.70 and $0.61\;{\mu}g/cm^2$, respectively, which were substantial, if significantly lower than the corresponding levels in binding work of 5.19 and $1.50\;{\mu}g/cm^2$ (p=0.016). The overall combined nicotine levels for the hands (i.e., left and right) were significantly higher than those for the forearms (p=0.013). The results of this study therefore indicate that, for GTS prevention, waterproof gloves should be worn while harvesting.


green tobacco sickness;tobacco;nicotine;wipe sample


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