Queens

You may be gambling for more than money in a casino.

A new study by scientists from Stanford and Tufts universities published in the journal Environmental Research shows that indoor air pollution from secondhand smoke significantly increases health risks for casino patrons and workers.

Researchers tested the air quality in 66 smoky casinos in five U.S. states and three smoke-free casinos and compared their findings to the air quality outdoors.

The study focused on two types of pollutants – fine particulate matter, which can enter deep into the lungs, and a group of chemicals called particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PPAHs), which include at least 10 different carcinogenic compounds.

The results show that people frequenting smoky casinos are exposed to particulate air pollution that is 10 times higher than those who go to smoke-free casinos. Even the non-smoking areas, including family areas where children spend their time, showed a pollution level seven times higher than outdoors, due to smoke seeping in.

tobacco smoke

Study identifies health risks of secondhand smoke in casinos.

The health threats caused by the poor indoor air quality include heart attacks and cancer. The secondhand smoke affects 50 million nonsmoking casino-goers and 400,000 casino workers each year.

Even just 2 hours of exposure to secondhand smoke in most of the casinos was enough to impair the heart’s ability to pump blood, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease.

The study’s researchers raised red flags for children and seniors who are among the most vulnerable when it comes to health risks. Many casinos have started to offer more family activities in an effort to attract more gamblers.

According to the article, most casinos in the United States allow smoking, while smoke-free casinos remain rare. About 88 percent of commercial casinos and 100 percent of tribal casinos allow patrons to light up.

Source: Standford Report

 

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