Sunday, August 02, 2009

Possible St. Louis County Public Smoking Compromise Law

Let's keep St. Louis a free and tolerant city! What about a reasonable compromise concerning the public smoking policy in St. Louis County? This possible public smoking law for St. Louis County would keep secondhand smoke away from children and substantially protect workers from secondhand smoke, yet not favor one type of business over another:

Warning signs shall be put up within and at the entrances of any building when smoking is allowed in that building.

No minor shall be allowed access to any room when smoking in that room is allowed.

6 air changes per hour of air filtration and air cleaning, or some equivalent air purification process, shall be ongoing in any room where smoking is allowed.

An air purification system shall be defined as an electrically powered motor and blower in a self contained box used to draw contaminated and redistribute cleaned air through a series of filters comprising of at least

1. A hospital grade HEPA media filter with a certified efficiency rating of at least 99.97 that is rated to capture particulate material to a minimum size of .03 micron that includes but is not limited to dust, dirt, environment tobacco smoke, pollen, mold spores, viruses, bacteria and allergens.

2. An adsorbent filter such as Carbon of other sorbent and Chemi-sorbent materials with an absorption rate of at least 85% efficiency to capture Volatile Organic Compounds such as but not limited to aldyhydes, ammonias, gaseous components of environmental tobacco smoke, solvents and odors. The filter should contain at least one pound of adsorbent media to each 100 cfm (cubic feet of air per minute) of air cleaner production.

The system or combination of systems shall be capable of creating at least 12 complete air changes per hour in the occupied space or one air change per hour (ACH) every ten minutes with a first pass efficiency of at least 95%

The system shall also utilize a multiple direction airflow pattern (Coanda); this will ensure maximum distribution and collection of indoor air

Additional technologies may be used beyond, but not in place of the above stated technologies including but not limited to polarized filters, ionization supplement filters and photo catalytic oxidation systems

Maintenance of Systems
The purification systems and filters must be maintained to the individual manufacturers specifications in order to insure maximum efficiency of said systems.

Air purification would not only remove tobacco smoke, but also viruses, bacteria, chemicals, pollen, dust, mold, fungi and, most importantly, radon decay products, which the EPA claims causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, seven times more than secondhand smoke is reputed to cause. Commercial and industrial air filtration machines are affordable and readily available. Venues that allow smoking could be retrofitted without expensive ductwork or other construction costs.

The CDC even recommends that such air filtration systems be installed in buildings as a way of protecting workers from airborne chemical, biological or chemical attacks.

Furthermore, an air filtration solution to the secondhand smoke problem would not displace smokers to poorly ventilated private homes and cars. Research has shown that this displacement actually causes the secondhand smoke exposure levels of children to rise in communities in which a
smoking ban has been imposed.

I am very concerned for business owners who have sunk their life's savings into their establishments.
Smoking bans have hurt and killed many mom and pop businesses in other towns. But if St. Louis government brings truly clean air to smoking establishments thru contemporary air filtration technology, business in these establishments will not be hurt but would instead flourish as new patrons arrive who were kept away by the previous smoke.