Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Health and Sport Committee concealed evidence in petition hearing

Last Tuesday, 22 January, the Health and Sport committee took less than six minutes (180:45 minutes in) to dismiss a petition that took months to research and several exchanges of emails with helpful Petitions Committee admin staff in order to get the wording to maximum effect.

It is quite clear that the committee staff were reading off the Scottish Government script (the briefing written by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, which includes the best tobacco control fairy tales in its summary of the facts), including such beauties as the heart attack drops and similar miracles brought about excusively by smoking bans. This is what appears to have swayed them – the conviction that reducing the passive smoke exposure of workers has led to clear improvements in general public health, and the equally hard-to-believe scenario presented by Richard Simpson MSP that the argument as to whether air cleaning technology could ever be able to clean smoke from a room had been settled for all eternity in 2001.

Gil Paterson's position is patently ridiculous – admitting that ventilation improves 'every day', and yet it will never be safe to expose anyone to smoke. He also explains the government's position on passive smoke in terms of pointing out to the public that freedom doesn't mean being able to damage other people: a conclusion that is neither relevant nor illuminating in the circumstances. Claiming that smoke 'must pass by you before it gets out' is another indicator that Paterson has not noticed how far air cleaning technology has moved.

The fact is that second-hand smoke is a red herring in the air quality issue. No ventilation equipment can operate unless it meets criteria set out by OSHA and its member organisations in Europe. The criteria are based on the presence of measurable chemical compounds during eight-hour shifts, regardless of whether secondary smoke is present.

Such indoor air quality standards feature in studies by Professor Andrew Geens, who refers to recognised occupational exposure limits throughout his work. This work was submitted as evidence to the petition along with substantial additional material. This evidence was introduced at the meeting itself by Aileen McLeod MSP on behalf of F2C (Scotland) member Bill Gibson, but none of the committee wanted the opportunity to scrutinise this evidence.

They voted instead to close the petition, effectively burying the evidence.


Chris Whittaker said...

it,s outragious,it,s harmless even without air technology,the Ban should of been ignored by every business from day one as they are just an ignorant bunch.

Junican said...

Paterson and Simpson show their bigotry and ignorance. The can't seem to get their simple minds past the words 'smoke' and 'odour'.
There are 'particles' of all sorts in the air. The smell of roses is caused by particles. On the other hand, particles such as mold spores and pollen do not smell.
But did anyone expect any thing else? I didn't.

Anonymous said...

Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after I
clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again.
Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

Take a look at my webpage - New LeBron Shoes - -