Sunday, 21 August 2011

Can an air quality standard resolve secondary smoke issues?

Earlier this year we discovered an air quality standard that had been published by the European Commission in 2007. Shortly after we used it in this story it disappeared from its website, but we had saved it, and subsequently published it on the Freedom2Choose website.

This link again. A discussion has developed in the comments between supporters and opponents of air-cleaning equipment in pubs. Much of it has to do with the very idea that technology could render a smoking ban quite unnecessary: nothing, say opponents, beats elimination of a contamination source.

The notions that 'there is no safe level of secondary smoke' and 'ventilation doesn't work' run throughout anti-smoking campaigns. Both are nonsensical and they conspire to ensure that eliminating tobacco smoke remains the recommended option.

As far as I can see  technology has moved a long way since noisy and ancient fans offered the best ventilation available to pubs. The situation is different now, as companies have to deal with many air quality problems with a degree of urgency. Air quality in aviation is a case in point. The equipment is sophisticated and designed to remove contaminants for a sustained period (throughout long flights for example). But it already has other uses, and possible further applications are many.

The equipment under discussion is described in the video:

Taking the video entirely at face value (which states that tests are going well and orders are being placed for the system), it would seem that all contaminants within a given air space can be removed. I would expect that systems can be purpose-built for specific buildings (businesses, operating theatres, workshops) according to their size and the kind of activity going on, and that a range of off-the-shelf models will be available to suit a range of needs. I see no reason why it should not work to clear pubs of smoke.

I've supported an air quality standard for as long as I have been aware there was such a thing. It has always made sense to me that people should not be exposed to bad air when they are working – especially when doing hard physical work, when more of it would be inhaled. I simply haven't accepted that smoke does pose a significant risk – the dose makes the poison, and toxins in smoke are extremely weak. But in principle there should be a standard for air, just as there are basic safety standards of other kinds.

So much for the standard. As for the equipment, I really can't see how it is possible to conclude that ventilation engineers will look at the issue of secondary smoke extraction, shake their heads and say, 'No can do'. Can they?


Bill Gibson said...

The problem is that the Tobacco Contol Advocates hate to admit that the scientific method works, yet a U.K. Government Agency approved this particular science (CCFT) as far back as 2005.

Anonymous said...

Even before the air management system release their video I have been advocating the use of such systems, this technogy is not new, it has not just appeared out of thin air. It is the result of over50 years of study and research, of practical usage within both the military and civilian fields. Anyone who has served in the armoured divisions, or at sea knows the value of these systems, they know that their live sdepend on their reliability, their ability to remove Nuclear, Biological and Chemical particulates from the air they breathe.

The Government, both central and local are all too aware of the capabilities of thes esystemsthey are the heart of the bunkers that they will use to save their own lives. They know that these systems work, they have known for years that they work, yet, when it comes to 20% of the population they suddenly do not work!

For five years there has been an air standard which the government has made little effort to impliment, even with a room full of smokers modern Air management sysems can return air to a standard higher than the established air standards, the video shows an area with far more smoke than you will ever see in a pub, and the system cleared that. while producing good clean air that the volunteer was able to breathe in an environmenmt that a trained firefighter would not enter without breathing apparatus is testament to its efficiency.

These systems remove 99.9% of all particulates from the air, I have stake my life on sytems less capable than these, my successors still do, and the equipment is infinitely bette rthan systems in my day. Experience dictates that these systems work, no scientific paper, no theory, and no anti smoker with an agenda can disprove that one single fact, these systems work.


Anonymous said...

How did Tobacco control have Any say over a EU standard ? Surely we can insist that the regulations are put in place in the UK.

Anonymous said...

This idea has made some headway. In Las Vegas USA, air scubbing machines are hard not to find on ceilings nor had it been made of modified to make sure non smokers are not irritated by someone smoking. It has been said that you can play a slot machine and the person across from you can smoke and you would never smell it and unless you WANTED to. To have such technology avaible could put smoking bans away for just about any enviroment from the work place to fast food places. Of course there is still the visual knee jerk reaction to someone smoking but really such things can overcome in time and exposure. Anyone who complains about smoking in public really needs to look at the bigger picture, removal of smoking and public still leaves a large amount of toxins and even radiation in the air that you cannot even smell much less see. If you really want to protect yourself from the so called cancer causing carbons, purchase a space suit and never leave it for any reason at all.

Bill Gibson said...

There is even a solution that suits cars that has been in existance since 2004

Belinda said...

Are they still allowed to manufacture cars with ashtrays?