Saturday, January 28, 2006

City council member seems to be operating under the premise that if he repeats a lie enough times even he may start to believe it

St. Paul's most anti-business council member and pro-smoking ban activist Dave Thune took to the air waves this morning, on AM 1280 the Patriot Saturday 1/28/06 11am - 12 pm.

You can listen to the show here. The question I asked on air can be found at minutes 47 - 50.

In a nutshell, the question I asked Thune was this, "...... since government indoor air quality testing of secondhand smoke concentrations proved to be 15 -500 times safer than OSHA regulations, in an effort to be consistent, would he move the St. Paul city council to now ban welding smoke in the workplace that wasn't also 15 - 500 times safer than OSHA regulations?" His reply was a disingenuous lie that the pro-smoking ban activists have been carefully instructed to repeat. "OSHA doesn't regulate secondhand smoke." Actually, Mr. Thune and the pro-smoking ban activists know this is false.....OSHA regulates each and every "harmful" component of secondhand smoke and as for secondhand smoke, OSHA has directly stated:

"Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded."

-Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Ass't Sec'y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997

As I have repeatedly stated, OSHA does regulate every chemical substance in secondhand smoke and during the radio show this fact was also pointed out by 1280 moderator and Pioneer Press columnist Craig Westover. To Thune's assertion however, that OSHA doesn't have a standard for regulating secondhand smoke as a whole, it also doesn't have a standard for regulating welding smoke as a whole in the factories.......OSHA does however, regulate the harmful airborne chemicals in both welding and tobacco smoke, which is how OSHA protects workers in factories regarding welding smoke.

In Thune's response stating he was satisfied with OSHA's regulatory authority and aptitude in the factory workplace regarding welding smoke, or something to that effect......he proved his understanding of OSHA's role in regulating indoor workplace air quality. Yet he contradicts himself, when he demands a smoking ban in St. Paul's private bars & restaurants even as government air quality testing in St. Louis Park, MN. 2004 proved scientifically that secondhand smoke concentrations are 15 - 500 times safer than OSHA regulations regarding the specific chemical measured. Results here. The median test result showed secondhand smoke concentrations to be 152 times safer than OSHA regulations.

So the only remedy for Thune and pro-smoking ban activists who want to maintain any credibility is to also ban workplace process emissions like welding smoke, oil mist in machine shops, V. O. C's in printing facilities etc., that don't also prove to be 15 -500 times safer than OSHA regulations. Anything less would be hypocrisy.

Of course, the logical and more likely solution is to repeal these smoking bans which are now based on the false premise of "public health hazard".............before the powerful law firms catch on to this fact and sue each and every local government that enacted one.....especially now that they all know about the St. Louis Park, MN. health department study.

More on the subject from columnist Craig Westover:

If the issue were really about public health and not shifting the failure of health groups to get people to stop smoking onto the taxpayer, we’d be talking air quality, not behavior change.

Westover's complete post here.

Mark Wernimont

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