Greenup Air Pollution Report

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PORTSMOUTH DAILY TIMES | PORTIA WILLIAMS | FEBRUARY 16, 2015

The Greenup County Health Department (GCHD) has partnered with the Kentucky Cancer Consortium to assist with an air quality study of Greenup County workplaces. The report confirms that high levels of fine particle air pollution from secondhand smoke is experienced in Greenup County. During the sampling period, the level of fine particle air pollution was nearly 2.3 times higher in Greenup County than the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for outdoor air.

Between the time period of Nov. 8 to Dec. 12, 2014, indoor air quality was assessed in five workplaces in Greenup County, Ky. Greenup County, Ky. The sites varied in size, were individually owned establishments, and some were part of local or national chains.

Cassie Mace, Tobacco Cessation Coordinator at the GCHD, said secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.

“Exposure to secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Secondhand smoke contains at least 250 chemicals that are known to be toxic and there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” Mace said. “An estimated 7,333 U.S. adults died from lung cancer and an estimated 33,951 from heart disease in 2006 due to secondhand smoke exposure.”

According to GCHD, fine particulates were measured using an air monitoring device called a TSI SidePak. The device utilized in the study which was used to sample and record the levels of respirable suspended particles in the air.

The Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy (KCSP) staff trained researchers from the Greenup County Health Department who did the sampling and sent the data to KCSP for analysis. Sampling was discreet in order not to disturb the occupants’ normal behavior.

The key findings of this report include the following:

• Greenup County’s levels of indoor air pollution from secondhand smoke are 4.0 times higher than Georgetown post-law and 4.4 times higher than Lexington after implementation of their comprehensive law.

• The level of indoor air pollution in Greenup County workplaces was 2.8 times higher than the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for outdoor air.

As of January 2015, 41 Kentucky communities have passed Smoke-Free ordinances. The most comprehensive ordinances, 100 percent smoke-free workplace and 100 percent smoke-free enclosed public place laws have been implemented in 24 Kentucky communities: Ashland, Bardstown, Berea, Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Corbin, Danville, Elizabethtown, Georgetown, Glasgow, Hardin County (unincorporated areas), Lexington-Fayette County, London, Louisville, Manchester, Midway, Morehead, Prestonsburg, Radcliff, Richmond, Somerset, Versailles, Williamsburg, and Woodford County (unincorporated).

According to reports, the next most comprehensive ordinances, 100 percent smoke-free enclosed public place laws, have been implemented in three communities: Frankfort, Letcher County, and Paducah.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing in partnership with the Greenup County Health Department, and funded by the Kentucky Cancer Consortium. This is the first indoor air quality study in Greenup County and it demonstrates that workers and patrons in Greenup County are exposed to harmful levels of secondhand smoke.

Read the article online.