Background: A smoking ban in all indoor public places was enforced in Italy on 10 January 2005.
Methods: We compared indoor air quality before and after the smoking ban by monitoring the indoor concentrations of fine (<2.5 μm diameter, PM2.5) and ultrafine particulate matter (<0.1 μm diameter, UFP). PM2.5 and ultrafine particles were measured in 40 public places (14 bars, six fast food restaurants, eight restaurants, six game rooms, six pubs) in Rome, before and after the introduction of the law banning smoking (after 3 and 12 months). Measurements were taken using real time particle monitors (DustTRAK Mod. 8520 TSI; Ultra-fine Particles Counter-TRAK Model 8525 TSI). The PM2.5 data were scaled using a correction equation derived from a comparison with the reference method (gravimetric measurement). The study was completed by measuring urinary cotinine, and pre-law and post-law enforcement among non-smoking employees at these establishments
Results: In the post-law period, PM2.5 decreased significantly from a mean concentration of 119.3 μg/m3 to 38.2 μg/m3 after 3 months (p<0.005), and then to 43.3 μg/m3 a year later (p<0.01). The UFP concentrations also decreased significantly from 76 956 particles/cm3 to 38 079 particles/cm3 (p<0.0001) and then to 51 692 particles/cm3 (p<0.01). Similarly, the concentration of urinary cotinine among non-smoking workers decreased from 17.8 ng/ml to 5.5 ng/ml (p<0.0001) and then to 3.7 ng/ml (p<0.0001).
Conclusion: The application of the smoking ban led to a considerable reduction in the exposure to indoor fine and ultrafine particles in hospitality venues, confirmed by a contemporaneous reduction of urinary cotinine.
- CIAA, Clean Indoor Air Act
- ETS, environmental tobacco smoke
- PM, particulate matter
- RIA, radioimmunoassay
- RSP, respirable suspended particle
- UFP, ultrafine particle
- secondhand smoke
- smoking ban
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The study was approved by ethics committee of Istituto Superiore di Sanità.
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