Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Air quality standard eliminates need for smoking ban
Bill Gibson of TICAP (The International Coalition Against Prohibition) attended last month's meeting at Westminster supporting an amendment to the smoking ban. His response is published below (Annandale Herald, 7 July):
There is indeed a European-approved air quality standard (EN 13779) as stated in this letter. This standard acknowledges that smoking is an important factor in air quality but simply handles smoky air differently from air in a non-smoking environment.
It doesn't state that it's impossible to remove smoke from the air, in spite of what the EU published two years after this standard appeared. 'There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke, and notions such as a threshold value for toxicity from second-hand smoke should be rejected, as they are contradicted by scientific evidence.' Eh? The air quality standard (EN 13779) doesn't even argue that smoke isn't toxic – in fact it specifies tobacco smoke as an air quality issue that must be resolved in order to achieve good indoor air. The idea that tobacco smoke is the only pollutant that cannot be dealt with effectively by technology is laughable.
Air Manager is an officially approved air cleaning system. Question 7 of its Frequently Asked Questions reads 'Does Air Manager remove harmful chemicals?' The answer: 'Yes. AirManager is scientifically proven to remove chemicals, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), tobacco smoke etc in excess of 99.999% in a single pass.' I can only repeat, Air Manager is an officially approved system (UK Accreditation Service). Why do they go to the trouble of approving this technology, only to then allow another government department to convince the public that it doesn't really work?
Bill Gibson does right to draw attention to EN 13779 (air quality standard) document and show its relevance in the smoking ban impasse.
Update 9 August: The EC has carelessly lost track of the link to the key document, EN 13779. Courtesy of Freedom2Choose we now have an alternative link to the original document.