Friday, March 23, 2007

Secondhand smoke should be regulated by OSHA, not banned

The nationwide trend of implementing a ban on secondhand smoke is justified, say activists, to protect the health of workers.

The hypocrisy and inconsistency however, is that every other workplace air quality issue is regulated by OSHA standards, rather than banned. And since smoking bans destroy hospitality businesses in record numbers , air quality regulation is a less destructive method to safeguard the health and welfare of employees and patrons.

Whether it be welding or plasma smoke exposure in factories, diesel smoke exhaust in tunnels or on truck loading docks, ozone produced from copying machines in offices, etc. OSHA regulates all these and other air quality issues to safeguard the health and safety of employees in all workplaces. So why be inconsistent regarding secondhand smoke which is far less hazardous than welding smoke for example?

Regarding the claim, by pharmaceutical nicotine funded interests , that OSHA doesn't have a permissible exposure limit for secondhand smoke components, the OSHA table is linked below for your research:

In the OSHA table you'll find a safe permissible exposure limit for thousands of individual components, pick the individual component you want to measure in secondhand smoke, and there is an OSHA safe limit for it. OSHA permissible exposure limits are the safe level of exposure for an 8 hour day / 40 hour per week time period.

Some OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) examples of components in secondhand smoke:

Nicotine safe level of exposure (PEL) is 0.5 mg per cubic meter
arsenic safe level of exposure (PEL) is 0.3 mg per cu. meter
benzene safe level of exposure (PEL) is 10 parts per million (ppm)
formaldehyde safe level of exposure (PEL) is 0.75 ppm
acetone safe level of exposure (PEL) is 2400 mg per cu. meter etc. etc.

The method above is how OSHA regulates employee exposure to welding smoke as well, there is no OSHA permissible limit for "welding smoke", secondhand smoke, wood smoke, or any other composite pollutant of two or more chemicals. OSHA is much more scientific and precise than that......each chemical component of an indoor air pollution source must be measured independently to determine if a health hazard exists.

Arbitrarily declaring that secondhand smoke is a health hazard without conducting any air quality testing is simply a matter of opinion with no basis in science or fact. If we start passing laws based on flawed data we get flawed laws, laws which when finally scrutinized under the microscope of science cannot and will not hold up to a challenge.Minnesota lawmakers need to stop following the herd of fear-mongering states that have gone before.

Minnesota needs to declare that we have a more competent science based community that has conducted air quality testing, and instead of falling for the rhetoric of 16 other states who tell us all that the earth is flat.......we will conduct scientific air quality analysis to determine the facts. Which is a much more preferred method of implementing laws as opposed to giving credence only to partisan funded special interest groups.

Also see:

(Ventilation equipment is allowed in the industrial workplace to improve air quality, why not in the commercial workplace?)

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  • WHO report secondhand smoke doesn't cause cancer
  • Do smoker's cost society more money than non-smoker's? NO
  • Do smoker's cost society more money than non-smoker's? Part 2
  • Why does UCSF researcher Stanton Glantz support smoking bans?
  • OSHA standards prove SHS is not a health hazard
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