[Global air monitoring study: a multi-country comparison of levels of indoor air pollution in different workplaces results from Tunisia].Tunis Med. 2007 Sep; 85(9):793-7.TM
In 1986, a report of the U.S. Surgeon General concluded that second hand smoke is a cause of disease in healthy non smokers. Subsequent many nations including Tunisia implement smoke-free worksite regulations. The aim of our study is to test air quality in indoor ambient air venues in Tunisia.
A TSI SidePak AM510 Personal Aerosol Monitor was used to sample, record the levels of respirable suspended particles (RSP) in the air and to assess the real-time concentration of particles less than 2.5 microm in micrograms per cubic meter, or PM2.5. Thirty three venues were sampled in Tunis. The venues were selected to get a broad range of size, location and type of venue. Venues included restaurants and cafés, bars, bus stations, hospitals, offices, and universities.
The mean level of indoor air pollution was 296 microg/m3 ranged from 11 microg/m3 to 1,499 microg/m3. The level of indoor air pollution was 85% lower in venues that were smoke-free compared to venues where smoking was observed (p<0.001). Averaged across each type of venue, the lowest levels of indoor air pollution were found in hospitals, offices and universities (52 microg/m3) and the highest level was found in a bar (1,499 micro/m3).
Hospitality venues allowing indoor air smoking in Tunisia are significantly more polluted than both indoor smoke-free sites and outdoor air in Tunisia. This study demonstrates that workers and patrons are exposed to harmful levels of a known carcinogen and toxin. Policies that prohibit smoking in public worksites dramatically reduce second hand smoke exposure and improve worker and patron health.