Studies of the health effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) using measured air concentrations are subject to bias. Cotinine, a nicotine metabolite detected in urine, has been recommended as a quantitative measure of nicotine intake and thus as a marker for ETS exposure in humans. The aim of this study was to correlate home indoor ETS levels with passive smokers' urinary cotinine levels. The urinary cotinine concentrations of 57 non-smoking women who spend >19 h a day at home and the nicotine levels in their living room air were measured over a period of 24 h. Nicotine and urinary cotinine levels were analyzed using GC/MS and HPLC/UV, respectively. In addition, information was collected regarding the smoking habits of the subjects' families. A significant correlation was found between the nicotine levels in indoor air and the urinary cotinine to creatinine ratio of the passive smokers. The smoking habits of the subjects' family members were also correlated to the urinary cotinine levels of the passive smokers.