Environmental Tobacco Testing
"Indoor air can become contaminated from many sources, but the most harmful and widespread contaminant of indoor air is tobacco smoke."
What is environmental tobacco smoke?
Tobacco smoke is generated from cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco pipes, but cigarettes are the most common source. There are two components of cigarette smoke, mainstream smoke (i.e., smoke inhaled by the smoker) and sidestream smoke (i.e., smoke released when the cigarette is not being puffed on). A mixture of these two components comprises environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), often called second hand smoke that consists of gaseous and particle components. Most tobacco combustion products are released at the highest concentrations during the sidestream phase.
What are the health risks?
Environmental tobacco smoke has been shown within the medical community and worldwide research to be a health risk, causing lung cancer, heart disease, elevated difficulty in breathing in sensitive subjects (e.g., asthmatics and COPD sufferers) and overall respiratory health in children. The best way to reduce or prevent exposures to cigarette smoke is to not allow cigarette smoking in your or your family's presence. In many cases, however, people living in multi-unit dwellings may not have the authority or ability to prevent their neighbor from smoking and may often find themselves exposed to second hand smoke.
Professional Building Inspectors can help you determine if you are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke and what you can do about it. We perform air quality testing with instruments that measure very small particles related to the combustion of cigarettes. We can measure and track where the smoke is coming from and provide you with a written report with color pictures documenting the problem.