OSHA and the Environmental Health Department prove secondhand smoke is NOT a health hazard.Since some people seem to have difficulty in seeing the importance of comparing the St. Louis Park Environmental Health Department secondhand smoke air quality test results to the OSHA guidelines, here it is side by side:
click to enlarge 1 milligram mg = 1,000 micrograms ug (full OSHA table can be found here)
click to enlarge (actual SLP results found here)
The upper table is the actual OSHA permissible exposure limit table for airborne contaminants ie. these levels are the safe exposure limits for humans. You'll note that the nicotine* safe level is 0.5 milligrams mg / cu. M (or 500 micrograms (ug) / cu. M).
The bottom table is the actual St. Louis Park Environmental Health Department test results for 19 establishments of measured airborne nicotine* levels during busy evenings. You can see the median establishment, Applebees, had a reading of 3.3 micrograms ug / cu. M.
500 ug (OSHA safe level) divided by 3.3 ug (median reading Applebees) = measured airborne nicotine* levels are 152 times safer than OSHA regulations ie. In other words NO HEALTH HAZARD as per OSHA workplace indoor air quality standards.
Secondhand smoke does not rise to the level of being a hazard, as proven scientifically. Therefore even though you may be offended by the smell of tobacco smoke; no government entity has the authority to ban secondhand smoke on the argument of public health hazard - that is a disingenous argument.
* (As per air quality researchers) Nicotine is the only unique or "trace" chemical in secondhand smoke. If you measured for formaldehyde, the carpet and other interior sources of formaldehyde would corrupt the test result, formaldehyde is formed naturally in our atmosphere due to photochemical oxidation. Benzene is given off from burning foods in the kitchen or diesel exhaust outdoors so again a false reading would be obtained. Therefore, nicotine is the ideal chemical to measure for to determine secondhand smoke concentrations in the air. And then our comparison to OSHA guidelines is the logical manner in which to determine if secondhand smoke levels pose a health hazard, as you can see, they do not. If you wanted you could measure every airborne chemical in secondhand smoke and then also compare them to OSHA guidelines for that specific chemical, the results would be the same.
Smoking cigarettes can be hazardous to the smoker, no argument there. However, secondhand smoke is not the hazard pro-smoking ban activists claim, perhaps because they rely on Nicoderm interests for further funding.
UPDATE: The St. Louis Park air quality testing is the first and only such testing on secondhand smoke conducted anywhere in the country. And because the results don't confirm what the pro-smoking ban activists claim, all the non-profit organizations want to see these test results disappear. And in fact on the week of 1/16/2006 the city of St. Louis Park, MN. removed the nicotine disclosure document from its website, probably at the request of the well funded pro-smoking ban activists. You can read more about the municipal air quality program here in a St. Paul Pioneer Press article dated September 4, 2004.
Brian Hoffman, one of the engineers who orchestrated the St. Louis Park test results, is trying to do damage control regarding the low secondhand smoke readings obtained. He submitted a letter explaining the city's test results, saying among other things:
There is no recognized safe level of exposure to all the substances of secondhand smoke.
That however, is a disingenuous statement, every harmful substance known to mankind has a safe level of exposure......it's called OSHA permissible exposure limits. And if you believed that false premise, no recognized safe level of exposure, we would have to ban drinking water due to the level of arsenic naturally present. We would have to ban the very air we breathe due to the CO2 levels present. (CO2 is fatal at a 20% concentration but with every breath we inhale a .038% concentration).
I expected a better argument than what was given, but the fact is.....that it is impossible to defend the indefensible. And the smoking ban proponents know that.
Did you notice the pro-smoking ban lies and rhetoric have become more vocal in the media lately? They are frantically trying to defend the indefensible. Perhaps another $100 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation would help.
What's wrong with RWJF funding smoking bans? RWJF, as part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, profits from sales of Nicoderm, Nicotrol, Nicorette, etc. allowing them to fund smoking bans is criminal and fraudulent.