Characterising the Exposure of Prison Staff to Second-Hand Tobacco Smoke

Sean Semple, Helen Sweeting, Evangelia Demou, Greig Logan, Rachel O'Donnell, Kate Hunt, Tobacco in Prisons (TIPs) research team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) is an avoidable and harmful exposure in the workplace but more than 25,000 prison staff continue to be exposed on a daily basis in the UK and many more worldwide. SHS exposures in prisons are incompletely understood but may be considerable given the large proportion of smoking prisoners and limited ventilation.

This study characterised the exposure of prison staff to SHS in all 15 prisons in Scotland using multiple methods. Exposure assessment strategies included six-day area measurement of fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) and airborne nicotine in each prison together with short(30-minute) measurements of PM2.5 covering a range of locations/activities. Pre-and post-shift saliva samples were also gathered from non-smoking staff and analysed for cotinine to estimate exposure.

There was evidence of exposure to SHS in all prisons from the results of PM2.5 and nicotine measurements. The salivary cotinine results from a sub-sample of non-smoking workers indicated SHS exposures of similar magnitude to those provided by the six-day area measurements of PM2.5. There was a high degree of exposure variability with some locations/activities involving exposure to SHS concentrations that were comparable to those measured in bars in Scotland prior to smoke-free legislation in 2006. The median shift exposure to SHS-PM2.5 was approximately 20-30 g/m3 and is broadly similar to that experienced by someone living in a typical smoking home in Scotland. This is the most comprehensive assessment of prison workers’ exposure to SHS in the world. The results are highly relevant to the development of smoke-free policies in prisons and should be considered when deciding on the best approach to provide prison staff with a safe and healthy working environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-821
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Work Exposures and Health
Volume61
Issue number7
Early online date16 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Fingerprint

Tobacco Smoke Pollution
Prisons
Tobacco
Scotland
Cotinine
Nicotine
Smoke-Free Policy
Smoking
Prisoners
Particulate Matter
Legislation
Saliva
Smoke
Workplace
Ventilation

Keywords

  • correctional facilities
  • SHS
  • ETS
  • work
  • nicotine
  • PM2.5

Cite this

Semple, S., Sweeting, H., Demou, E., Logan, G., O'Donnell, R., Hunt, K., & Tobacco in Prisons (TIPs) research team (2017). Characterising the Exposure of Prison Staff to Second-Hand Tobacco Smoke. Annals of Work Exposures and Health, 61(7), 809-821. https://doi.org/10.1093/annweh/wxx058

Characterising the Exposure of Prison Staff to Second-Hand Tobacco Smoke. / Semple, Sean; Sweeting, Helen; Demou, Evangelia; Logan, Greig; O'Donnell, Rachel; Hunt, Kate; Tobacco in Prisons (TIPs) research team.

In: Annals of Work Exposures and Health, Vol. 61, No. 7, 01.08.2017, p. 809-821.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Semple, S, Sweeting, H, Demou, E, Logan, G, O'Donnell, R, Hunt, K & Tobacco in Prisons (TIPs) research team 2017, 'Characterising the Exposure of Prison Staff to Second-Hand Tobacco Smoke', Annals of Work Exposures and Health, vol. 61, no. 7, pp. 809-821. https://doi.org/10.1093/annweh/wxx058
Semple S, Sweeting H, Demou E, Logan G, O'Donnell R, Hunt K et al. Characterising the Exposure of Prison Staff to Second-Hand Tobacco Smoke. Annals of Work Exposures and Health. 2017 Aug 1;61(7):809-821. https://doi.org/10.1093/annweh/wxx058
Semple, Sean ; Sweeting, Helen ; Demou, Evangelia ; Logan, Greig ; O'Donnell, Rachel ; Hunt, Kate ; Tobacco in Prisons (TIPs) research team. / Characterising the Exposure of Prison Staff to Second-Hand Tobacco Smoke. In: Annals of Work Exposures and Health. 2017 ; Vol. 61, No. 7. pp. 809-821.
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N1 - Acknowledgements This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research Programme (project number 15/55/44). We are grateful to all the staff at the Scottish Prison Service and in HMP Kilmarnock and HMP Addiewell who assisted with this study. We are also extremely grateful to David Walker, Ruaraidh Dobson and Mrs Flora Buthlay for their help with data collection and retrieval of instruments from prisons, and to Dr Steve Turner for helpful comments on an earlier draft. KH, HS, GL, ED gratefully acknowledge core funding from UK MRC and Chief Scientist Office (MC_UU_12017/12; SPHSU12; MC/PC/13027 partnership grant) for their work within prison settings. We acknowledge the contribution of our co-investigators in the TIPs research team to the overall design of the TIPs study (Professor Linda Bauld, Dr Kathleen Boyd, Dr Philip Conaglen, Dr Peter Craig, Douglas Eadie, Professor Alastair Leyland, Professor Jill Pell).

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