BLR News


Secondhand Smoke Should Be Listed as an Air Pollutant

Old Saybrook, CT – February 14, 2006 – Count most managers responsible for environmental compliance as belonging to the antismoking camp. An overwhelming majority say that California’s decision to list environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) as a toxic air contaminant (TAC) under state law was correct, according to a recent poll conducted on

The poll, conducted between February 1 and February 8, 2006, asked environmental managers: “Do you think environmental tobacco smoke should be regulated as a Toxic Air Contaminant?” Of the 515 respondents, 75 percent responded affirmatively.

The poll was conducted in response to the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) formal identification of secondhand smoke as a TAC. There are thousands of individual constituents in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic air contaminants, including benzene, 1,3 butadiene, and arsenic.

“The number of folks responding to the poll really wasn’t surprising,” said Steve Quilliam, managing editor of “What was surprising was the huge advantage to those responding in the affirmative. It would appear that years of hearing about the harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke are truly having an effect.”

The next step for CARB is to conduct an analysis that includes a review of measures already in place, available options, and the costs of reducing the health risk from exposure to secondhand smoke. This is an open public process.

To get an idea of where this process may be headed, BLR editors have made available the Hazardous Air Pollutants in California regulatory analysis from the Compliance Library, which analyzes the state’s toxic air contaminant rules in plain-English. Download it here

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