Jul 14, 2009
Indoor pollution levels in Detroit casinos are eight times higher than outdoor air
Air quality testing (AQT) conducted in Detroit’s three casinos revealed indoor pollution levels that are eight times higher than outdoor air, debunking the claim casino operators made back in March to the House Regulatory Reform Committee that their ventilation systems should earn them an exception to the workplace smoking ban.
The Campaign for Smokefree Air (CSA) sponsored the test that took place on Saturday, April 18, 2009 using Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards, established to effectively measure air quality for the protection of public health.. The tests measured the amount of tobacco smoke derived fine particle air pollution in each casino. Each location was measured over a 40-minute period. The fine particle indoor air pollution in the MGM, MotorCity and Greektown casinos was 92. The EPA considers air healthy to breath at levels of 15 and below.
“Results from the air quality assessments in each casino reinforce that casinos need to be included n smokefree legislation,” said Katherine Knoll, spokesperson for CSA and senior director of advocacy for the American Heart Association. “Casino workers deserve the same protection as any other employee. These workers are unfortunately exposed to high levels of air pollution on a daily basis in order to earn a paycheck.”
In 2005 and 2006, the air quality in the smoking sections of 90 bars and restaurants measured in eight Michigan cities averaged out to 147.75. The nonsmoking sections of restaurants in Detroit, Kalamazoo and Saginaw averaged out to 50.3, which is still more than three times higher than what the EPA considers healthy at 15.
In May, the House passed House Bill 4377 that would ban smoking in workplaces, including bars and restaurants, with the exception of casino floors and existing cigar bars. The bill was sent to the Senate for consideration, but Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop refuses to allow the Senate to consider the popular bill.