Respirable Particles and Carcinogens in the Air of Delaware Hospitality Venues Before and After a Smoking Ban

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Abstract

How do the concentrations of indoor air pollutants known to increase risk of respiratory disease, cancer, heart disease, and stroke change after a smoke-free workplace law? Real-time measurements were made of respirable particle (RSP) air pollution and particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PPAH), in a casino, six bars, and a pool hall before and after a smoking ban. Secondhand smoke contributed 90% to 95% of the RSP air pollution during smoking, and 85% to 95% of the carcinogenic PPAH, greatly exceeding levels of these contaminants encountered on major truck highways and polluted city streets. This air-quality survey demonstrates conclusively that the health of hospitality workers and patrons is endangered by tobacco smoke pollution. Smoke-free workplace laws eliminate that hazard and provide health protection impossible to achieve through ventilation or air cleaning.

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