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Indoor air in a nutshell Fiona Godfrey EU Policy Advisor European Respiratory Society Brussels.

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Presentation on theme: "Indoor air in a nutshell Fiona Godfrey EU Policy Advisor European Respiratory Society Brussels."— Presentation transcript:

1 Indoor air in a nutshell Fiona Godfrey EU Policy Advisor European Respiratory Society Brussels

2 Sources of indoor air pollution Tobacco smoke Household activities Cleaning, decorating and building materials Radon, pesticides Heating and ventilation equipment Mould, spores, fungi Source: THADE report, in press

3 Health effects Lung cancer Heart disease Asthma Allergies Legionnaires disease Pneumonia Interstitial lung diseases Headaches, cough, wheezing, eye problems Nausea, fatigue, fever, shortness of breath

4 Some indoor air pollutants Tobacco smoke Carbon monoxide and dioxide Nitrogen dioxides Particulate matter Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Pesticides Dust mites, animal dander, mould, fungi

5 Possible solutions Reducing exposure to zero or safe limits Improving building, heating, air conditioning and ventilation standards Removing pets from homes and schools of susceptible persons Education programmes about prevention options Legislation

6 EU legislative options Treaty bases: Internal market Article 95 Worker health and safety Articles 137, 138 Public health Article 152 Environmental protection Article 174

7 Amending existing directives Building Directive 89/106/EEC Workplace Air Quality Directives 89/654/EEC, 92/57/EEC, 92/91/EEC, 92/104/EEC Pregnant Women’s Directive 92/85/EEC Carcinogens Directive 90/394/EEC

8 Second hand smoke (SHS) exposure Single biggest source of indoor air pollution in EU No genuine debate about the health effects of SHS exposure SHS classified as a carcinogen by EPA, IARC, Finnish and German governments Only acceptable response is to eliminate exposure in all work and public places, as well as domestic environments wherever possible

9 Tobacco industry tactics Keep indoor air off the EU agenda at all costs Cast doubt on the harmful effects of SHS Influence EU officials, institutions and agencies Frame the debate as one of smokers’ human rights versus the nanny state Get other groups to do their talking (Horeca, UNICE, “independent” scientists, columnists) Challenge the legal basis of legislation Manufacture a debate about economic losses

10 In the industry’s own words –CONSUMER FREEDOMS * Health concerns and the deteriorating social attitude regarding smoking and secondhand smoke are leading towards tighter smoking restrictions in which the IARC study may be a major factor. Source: Philip Morris 3 year EU strategy,

11 The strategy... –Push the principle of subsidiarity for smoking legislation issues * Avoid a smoking ban on public transport proposed under the guise of 1993 Directive to protect transport workers * Avoid a backdoor smoking ban by securing acceptable EU (CEN) indoor air quality standards. * Extend solutions programmes on courtesy and tolerance. * Encourage strengthening of smokers rights groups and mobilisation of businesses against bans. –[Page 5]: –...Developing and leveraging smokers' rights groups (SRGs) will be crucial...Maintain the debate on ETS science among EU legislators...Undertake original studies on confounders [and] achieve wide publication to ensure balances perspective and coverage... –[Page 6]:

12 Bring on the front groups –OBJECTIVES –Foster opposition to, and avoid support of ill-founded legislation. –STRATEGIES AND ACTIONS –--Activate mechanism for coordinated pan-European actions by SRGs to bring smokers' voice to EU legislative debate; expand existing SRGs and create new groups, where needed, to defend against ban threats... –--Equip and politicize the European Horeca association - Hotrec –--Develop opposition to smoking bans among targeted European Employers Associations and Unions sectors –--Develop "hard core" group of businesses opposed to bans using mobilization techniques. –[Page 8]:

13 Advocacy tips on indoor air There are grounds for concern about many indoor air pollutants BUT Be aware of tobacco industry attempts to use other pollutants to divert attention from the biggest indoor pollutant of all - SHS Don’t get side tracked into discussions about EU legal bases, health or economic effects

14 Ventilation and SHS Ventilation is not advocated as a solution to SHS. It doesn’t work and is pushed by the industry because: “When smoking restrictions in the workplace are implemented, enforced and respected, demand for cigarettes falls.” Smoking restrictions and smoking acceptability in Europe, June 1993 Philip Morris


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