We are presenting you very interesting study by our Italian friends published in Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine: Particulate matters from diesel heavy duty trucks exhaust versus cigarettes emissions: a new educational antismoking instrument.
Indoor smoking in public places and workplaces is forbidden in Italy since 2003, but some health concerns are arising from outdoor secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure for non-smokers. One of the biggest Italian Steel Manufacturer, with several factories in Italy and abroad, the Marcegaglia Group, recently introduced the outdoor smoking ban within the perimeter of all their factories. In order to encourage their smoker employees to quit, the Marcegaglia management decided to set up an educational framework by measuring the PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 emissions from heavy duty trucks and to compare them with the emissions of cigarettes in an indoor controlled environment under the same conditions.
The exhaust pipe of two trucks powered by a diesel engine of about 13.000/14.000 cc3 were connected with a flexible hose to a hole in the window of a container of 36 m3 volume used as field office. The trucks operated idling for 8 min and then, after adequate office ventilation, a smoker smoked a cigarette. Particulate matter emission was thereafter analyzed.
Cigarette pollution was much higher than the heavy duty truck one. Mean of the two tests was: PM1 truck 125.0(47.0), cigarettes 231.7(90.9) p = 0.002; PM2.5 truck 250.8(98.7), cigarettes 591.8(306.1) p = 0.006; PM10 truck 255.8(52.4), cigarettes 624.0(321.6) p = 0.002.
Our findings may be important for policies that aim reducing outdoor SHS exposure. They may also help smokers to quit tobacco dependence by giving them an educational perspective that rebuts the common alibi that traffic pollution is more dangerous than cigarettes pollution.