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June 24th, 2005:

Tobacco Smoke Identified as Toxic Air Contaminant

State of California – technical report citing Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant

Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant

Download the full report on the Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant here.

This report, prepared by the staff of the Air Resources Board (ARB), contains an evaluation of exposures to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in California. This report is referred to as Part A, “Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant.” The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has developed a comprehensive health evaluation on exposures to environmental tobacco smoke, referred to as Part B. Together, these evaluations serve as the basis for ARB’s proposal to identify ETS by regulation as a toxic air contaminant (TAC).

Under the provisions of Assembly Bill 1807 (Health and Safety Code sections 39650-39662), the ARB is mandated to administer California’s TAC Program. The ARB’s exposure assessment is based, to the extent available, upon research and monitoring data, emissions inventory data, and information on exposures from data on ambient and indoor air environments, as well as, an assessment of children’s exposures (Health and Safety Code Sections 39650 et seq.). The Health and Safety Code, section 39655, also requires that each candidate TAC must meet the definition of a TAC, defined as “an air pollutant which may cause or contribute to an increase in mortality or in serious illness, or which may pose a present or potential hazard to human health.”

ETS entered the identification program in June 2001. Some of the information in this report is based upon data presented in the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) 1997 report: “Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke” (OEHHA, 1997). Specifically, Chapter 2 (Exposure Measurement and Prevalence) of the OEHHA report was updated to include ETS exposure information developed subsequent to the data presented in the report (after 1995). The National Cancer Institute (NCI), acting for the U.S. Public Health Service, recognized the importance of the 1997 OEHHA report and incorporated it as part of their Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph series (NCI, 1999).

This is the revised Scientific Review Panel (SRP) version of the report which includes the Executive Summary, Part A (exposure assessment), Part B (health effects), and Part C (responses to public comments) documents. This version of the report, along with the comments received on the public review version, will be considered by the SRP on Toxic Air Contaminants at a noticed public meeting.

The ARB’s consideration of ETS as a TAC will occur following review by the SRP. If the SRP approves the report, it will be presented to the ARB at a duly noticed public hearing, after a 45-day public comment period. If the ARB approves the report at a hearing and identifies ETS as a TAC, the information contained in the report will be used in the assessment of the need for control measures. Any consideration of control measures to reduce exposures to ETS, if identified as a TAC, will follow a separate rulemaking process, which allows for a thorough public process including workshops, and a public hearing.