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Air Quality Deemed Poor At Indiana Casinos

Last updated on Wednesday, January 14, 2009

(WEST LAFAYETTE) - A study commissioned by the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians and conducted by Purdue University confirmed what smoke free workplace advocates have been saying for years - secondhand smoke is at dangerous levels in casinos.

Industrial hygiene professor Dr. Neil Zimmerman presented his findings on the air quality at Indiana's 11 casinos at the Indiana Statehouse.

Zimmerman says while the Environmental Protection Agency says the average fine particle indoor air pollution should be 15 microns per cubic meter at any given time and 35 microns in a 24-hour average, Indiana casinos averaged 159 microns per cubic meter, thus exposing casino employees and patrons to extremely unhealthy conditions.

Casinos, restaurants, and bars have been the largest opponents to previously proposed statewide bans on smoking in workplaces.

State Representative Charlie Brown (D-Gary) is making his third attempt at statehouse legislation for smokefree workplaces state wide. Brown says it's a little known fact that Indiana is the 6th largest tobacco producer in the nation, making the legislation are hard sell for Southern Indiana legislators, but Brown says at some point public health should come first.

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