Print version ISSN 0213-9111
VILLARROEL, Nazmy et al. Second-hand smoke exposure in hospitality venues in Barcelona: measurement of respirable particles. Gac Sanit [online]. 2011, vol.25, n.3, pp. 220-223. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112011000300008.
Objectives: To quantify the concentration of respirable particles equal to or smaller than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) as a marker of second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure in a sample of hospitality venues in Barcelona 2 years after the Spanish smoking law came into effect. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional descriptive study from October to December 2007. The study population consisted of 40 hospitality venues in Barcelona selected by a random route sampling, with representation of the different types of smoking regulation included in the law (smoking allowed, smoking ban and venues with smoking areas). SHS levels were quantified by measuring PM2.5 concentrations, which were measured using a laser photometer (Side Pack AM 510 Personal Aerosol Monitor). The measurements were carried out for 5 minutes outside the venue and for 30minutes inside the venue. In addition, observational variables related to the characteristics of the venue and signs of tobacco consumption were recorded. Results: The concentration of PM2.5 in venues where smoking was still allowed was five times higher than that in venues where smoking was banned (182 µg/m3 and 34 µg/m3, respectively) and exceeded the concentration established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as harmful (35 µg/m3). However, in venues where smoking was banned, the concentration was lower than the EPA standard and there were no significant differences with the outdoor PM2.5 concentration. Conclusions: Two years after the introduction of the Spanish smoking law, SHS exposure in venues where smoking was allowed was q still very high, representing a significant health risk for hospitality workers.
Keywords : Second-hand smoke; Passive smoking; PM2.5; Hospitality venues; Spanish smoking law.