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Bill Hannegan of KEEP ST. LOUIS FREE! has a letter published in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch asking: What locations were the subject of the recent Washington University nicotine monitor study? And did they include the Double D Lounge, which Mr. Hannegan maintains has a state-of-the-art “air purification system” obviating the need for smoke-free air.
My efforts to determine from Washington University if the Double D Lounge was included in these tests have been unsuccessful, quoting university confidentiality rules. However, from nicotine monitor measurements conducted independently for Missouri GASP at hospitality venues where smoking was confined to a separately ventilated room, which revealed significant levels of nicotine in the non-smoking section, I’d be very surprised if the Double D Lounge provided an acceptable alternative to a smoke-free environment.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Letters to the editor, September 21
Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 12:00 am
According to the editorial “Quelle surprise!” (Sept. 12), a Washington University study of 20 St. Louis bars and restaurants has proven that even the most sophisticated air-purification machines are unable to clear secondhand smoke from the air. This study did not name the establishments it tested or specify the technology these establishments employ. The study mentions only ‘smoke-specific ventilation systems,” a term so vague it could include the ceiling fans some bar owners use to scatter and dissipate smoke or antiquated ‘smoke eaters” that have not been maintained in years.
One wonders if the systems were running at their highest setting during the entire test. Were they even on? Were the best systems in use in St. Louis bars and restaurants tested? I don’t know, and neither do the paper’s editors.
To clear up this confusion, why not test the air of a St. Louis establishment that features the most effective air-purification machines available? The Double D Lounge in Brentwood features five such machines, scrupulously maintained, that run full blast all the time.
Surgeon General Richard Carmona favorably mentioned the Double D’s systems in his 2006 report. He did not officially endorse them because “widespread application” of their effectiveness “has not yet been demonstrated.”
A report on the air quality at the Double D Lounge by an independent air-quality testing firm would be a fair measure of the effectiveness of such machines to remove smoke from bar and restaurant air. Until such a test occurs, the Post-Dispatch should withhold judgment concerning the effectiveness of air purification technology.
Bill Hannegan • St. Louis