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Tobacco Smoke Pollution in Oklahoma Workplaces: Preliminary Report

Publication Date: 2010-02-01


Smoking inside certain types of public places and workplaces, allowed under current state laws in Oklahoma, creates unhealthy to hazardous environments in those places.

• Restaurants that are entirely nonsmoking have moderate levels of PM2.5 material in the air.

• Nonsmoking dining areas of restaurants with smoking rooms have three times as much PM2.5 as entirely nonsmoking restaurants, averaging in the range considered "unhealthy" by the EPA based on particulate concentration.

• Smoking rooms in restaurants averaged 1.5 times the "hazardous" level established by the EPA for particulate concentrations.

• Bars averaged 2.6 times the "hazardous" level established by the EPA for particulate concentrations.

Based on the particulate levels alone (PM2.5), the air inside smoking workplaces in Oklahoma is hazardous. Even air in neighboring spaces was found on average to be unhealthy, based on particulates. Adding in the class A human carcinogens--for which there is no safe level of exposure--and other toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke pollution harmful to the cardiovascular system and other aspects of health, these indoor public places and workplaces are very high risk environments.

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