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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2016

Second-hand smoke in four English prisons: an air quality monitoring study

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2016
Leah R. Jayes, Elena Ratschen, Rachael L. Murray, Suzy Dymond-White, John Britton
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributors

LJ is the guarantor and takes responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, from inception to publication; contributed to the study conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis of the data, interpretation of data and drafting the article. ER, RM, SD-W and JB contributed to the study conception and design. ER, RM and JB contributed to the interpretation of data and drafting the article. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.



To measure levels of indoor pollution in relation to smoking in four English prisons.


TSI SidePak AM510 Personal Aerosol Monitors were used to measure concentrations of particulate matter less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) for periods of up to 9 h in selected smoking and non-smoking areas, and personal exposure monitoring of prison staff during a work shift, in four prisons.


PM2.5 data were collected for average periods of 6.5 h from 48 locations on 25 wing landings where smoking was permitted in cells, on 5 non-smoking wings, 13 prisoner cells, and personal monitoring of 22 staff members. Arithmetic mean PM2.5 concentrations were significantly higher on smoking than non-smoking wing landings (43.9 μg/m3 and 5.9 μg/m3 respectively, p < 0.001) and in smoking than non-smoking cells (226.2 μg/m3 and 17.0 μg/m3 respectively, p < 0.001). Staff members wore monitors for an average of 4.18 h, during which they were exposed to arithmetic mean PM2.5 concentration of 23.5 μg/m3.


The concentration of PM2.5 pollution in smoking areas of prisons are extremely high. Smoking in prisons therefore represents a significant health hazard to prisoners and staff members.
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