Second-hand smoke in four English prisons: an air quality monitoring study

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Jayes, Leah R. ; Ratschen, Elena ; Murray, Rachael L. ; Dymond-White, Suzy ; Britton, John (2016)
  • Publisher: BioMed Central
  • Journal: BMC Public Health, volume 16 (eissn: 1471-2458)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4743156, doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-2757-y
  • Subject: Research Article | Smoking | Passive smoking | Air pollution | Tobacco | Smoke-free | Prison | Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    mesheuropmc: complex mixtures

BACKGROUND: To measure levels of indoor pollution in relation to smoking in four English prisons. \ud METHODS: TSI SidePak AM510 Personal Aerosol Monitors were used to measure concentrations of particulate matter less than 2.5 mum in diameter (PM2.5) for periods of up to 9 h in selected smoking and non-smoking areas, and personal exposure monitoring of prison staff during a work shift, in four prisons. \ud RESULTS: PM2.5 data were collected for average periods of 6.5 h from 48 locations on 25 wing landings where smoking was permitted in cells, on 5 non-smoking wings, 13 prisoner cells, and personal monitoring of 22 staff members. Arithmetic mean PM2.5 concentrations were significantly higher on smoking than non-smoking wing landings (43.9 mug/m(3) and 5.9 mug/m(3) respectively, p < 0.001) and in smoking than non-smoking cells (226.2 mug/m(3) and 17.0 mug/m(3) respectively, p < 0.001). Staff members wore monitors for an average of 4.18 h, during which they were exposed to arithmetic mean PM2.5 concentration of 23.5 mug/m(3). \ud CONCLUSIONS: The concentration of PM2.5 pollution in smoking areas of prisons are extremely high. Smoking in prisons therefore represents a significant health hazard to prisoners and staff members.
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