Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Arizona lung conditions, secondary smoke exposure and guesswork

A study from the University of Arizona relates parental smoking with respiratory conditions carried over into adulthood.


Using data from the 1970s to the 1990s the studies purport to show that parental smoking makes the crucial difference between getting ill and not getting ill. Or something like that. As if there were no other factors to be considered.

Local air quality information is here. It's a recognized issue, and note that the issue of smoking is not even mentioned in this local guidance. The critical thing is:
Sometimes the amount of ozone or particulate pollution can violate federal standards.
Sometimes. Pollutant levels vary, from day to day and from region to region. It is therefore impossible to draw conclusions about the impact of passive smoking exposure. You can establish that one or two parents smoke, but can you then factor in whether visiting friends and relatives smoke, for how many hours a day, how big the house is, or how well ventilated? What were they smoking? All these variables for a single 'pollutant'. Then we get to the outdoor pollutants. Where did the children live? How exposed were they to the pollutants and for how long? How bad was the pollution? No one can make accurate generalisations over such things.


Anonymous said...


In 1991 NIOSH { OSHA' research group} Looked into ETS although at the time they recommended reducing ETS exposure they found the studies lacking.

NIOSH recognizes that these recent epidemiological studies have several shortcomings: lack of objective measures for charachterizing and quantifying exposures,failures to adjust for all confounding variables,potential misclassification of ex-smokers as non-smokers,unavailability of comparison groups that have not been exposed to ETS, and low statistical power.

Research is needed to investigate the following issues:

1. More acurate quantification of the increased risk of lung cancer associated with ETS exposure,including determination of other contributing factors[e.g.,occupational exposures]that may accentuate the risk.

2.Determination of the concentration and distributuion of ETS components in the workplace to help quantify the risk for the U.S. working population.

a.The association of ETS exposure with cancer other than lung cancer
b.The relationship between ETS exposure and cardiovascular disease
c.The relationship between ETS exposure and nonmalignant resporatory diseases such asthma,bronchitis and emphysema, and
the effects of ETS on lung function and respiratory systems
c. Possible mechanisms of ETS damage to the cardiovascular system,such as platelet aggravation,increased COHb leading to oxygen depravation,or damage to endothelium
d.Effects of workplace smoking restrictions on the ETS exposure of nonsmokersand ETS-related health effects in nonsmokers

After ten years of no conclusive research and lack of studies that didn't eliminate the bias OSHA decided that the studies did not have substance and here is there present policy.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)

Because the organic material in tobacco doesn't burn completely, cigarette smoke contains more than 4,700 chemical compounds. Although OSHA has no regulation that addresses tobacco smoke as a whole, 29 CFR 1910.1000 Air contaminants, limits employee exposure to several of the main chemical components found in tobacco smoke. In normal situations, exposures would not exceed these permissible exposure limits (PELs), and, as a matter of prosecutorial discretion, OSHA will not apply the General Duty Clause to ETS.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article here Sheila Duffy argues article 5.3 FCTC should be tightened.