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ALZA Corporation, a member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, serves as one of Johnson & Johnson's Pharmaceutical Research & Development sites.
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Last Updated: Mar 27 2008 at 14:28:37 EDT
After an afternoon of shooting and cleaning the trusty .45, I relaxed with a cigar and beer, and thought to myself .......if I had a significant amount of cash I'd open a chain of retail stores called "Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms".
Unfortunately I fear that the America that exists today is intolerant of the simple freedoms this country once enjoyed in great abundance.
Will there be a showdown between OSHA and local politicians regarding workplace secondhand smoke levels?
Clearing the Air wrote to officials at Minnesota Department of Labor (OSHA), to inquire about air quality testing and OSHA permissible exposure limits.We questioned officials if they were aware that worldwide secondhand smoke air quality test results confirmed that there is NO workplace health hazard. We further asked them if the results indicated that local politicians had over stepped their authority and common sense by banning secondhand smoke.......because it does not rise to health hazard claims. The obvious question then was: When does OSHA have regulatory enforcement authority.....superceding uninformed local politicians?Here was a Minnesota Labor official's response:...Minnesota OSHA... has enforcement authority.......to protect worker's safety and health.....Given that Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) officials have a far better understanding of workplace air quality hazards and long established permissible exposure limits, they (OSHA) are in a far better position than politicians, who prove to be easy prey by special interest groups; in providing final regulatory enforcement. OSHA permissible exposure limits (PEL) provide that critical balance allowing business and jobs to proliferate, while also maintaining safe working conditions. If easily influenced politicians are allowed final regulatory authority to ban any and all workplace pollutants such as welding smoke, machining oil mist, ozone produced by office copiers, etc....etc.... businesses, jobs, and the entire free market system will perish under the weight of unreasonable and over regulatory laws.......as is currently being experienced by the hospitality industry.....worldwide.We already have a government authority to oversee air quality hazards in the workplace, that authority is OSHA, which ALONE should provide the final regulatory enforcement of secondhand smoke levels..........not politicians.
OSHA itself has stated regarding secondhand smoke:"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
Peer reviewed and BMJ published secondhand smoke test results confirm there is NO workplace air quality hazard
The British Medical Journal published results shown here, were conducted using methodology which measured for the marker airborne chemical nicotine which in turn indicates the total airborne concentration of secondhand smoke present, and as scientists around the globe have stated:
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 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, according to OSHA, the authority on workplace safety and indoor air quality, they do not. If you wanted you could measure every airborne chemical in secondhand smoke and then compare them to OSHA guidelines for each specific chemical, the results would be the same, if not more dramatic.
The BMJ test results which ranged from 0.1 - 192 micrograms (ug) / cu. M, are actually 2.6 - 5,000 times SAFER than OSHA indoor air quality permissible exposure limits (PEL) for the secondhand smoke component -nicotine.
(partial OSHA permissible exposure limit table)
The OSHA safe level of exposure for nicotine for an 8 hour day, 40 hour week time period is 0.5 milligrams (mg) / cu. M; which is the equivalent of 500 micrograms (ug) / cu. M.
Checking the math:
500 ug divided by BMJ results of 192 ug = SHS AQ test results are 2.6 times SAFER than OSHA air quality regulations.
500 ug divided by BMJ results of 0.1 ug = SHS AQ test results are 5,000 times SAFER than OSHA air quality regulations.
The significance to this find is that pro-smoking ban advocates, particularly in the medical community tried to claim that our earlier AQ results (which proved secondhand smoke was 15 - 25,000 times SAFER than OSHA regulations) were invalid because they were not published or peer reviewed........now however, the identical secondhand smoke air quality test results are not only peer reviewed and published.......but published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) no less.
Clearly now, we can battle and reverse the exaggerated and fabricated claims made by pro-smoking ban activists.......using their own data.
Update: In a separate BMJ published test result which measured secondhand smoke levels near smoking rooms in U.S. airports comes an even more dramatic example of just how exaggerated secondhand smoke health hazard claims are. The airport test results shown here, indicate that secondhand smoke concentrations as determined by measuring the marker chemical nicotine, averaged 0.15 ug (micrograms) / m3 (cubic meter), 0.46 ug/m3, and 0.72 ug / m3.
However since the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) for nicotine is 0.5 mg (milligram) / m3, same as 500 ug (micrograms) / m3 (8 hours/ day. 40 hours/ week); the results tell us that secondhand smoke levels near airport smoking rooms were 694 - 3,333 times SAFER than OSHA regulations.
500 divided by 0.15 = 3,333
500 divided by 0.46 = 1,087
500 divided by 0.72 = 694
Does that sound like a health hazard to you?