Thursday, March 20, 2008

  • Study shows smoking in cars is harmful
  • A Royal prime minister? and other notes
  • A weekend of solemn and joyous days
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Wireless, email, Unix outages Friday, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Details at IST.

Link of the day

Easter and
the days around it

When and where

Blood donor clinic last day today, 9 to 3, Student Life Centre.

Easter luncheon buffet at the University Club 11:30 to 2, $18 per person, reservations ext. 33801.

FIRST Robotics tournament for high school students March 20-22, Physical Activities Complex, information online.

CHIP office (MC 1052) will be closed for a staff meeting today noon to 1 p.m.

Lunch-and-learn panel for pre-tenure faculty: “Documenting Your Teaching for Tenure and Promotion,” 11:45 - 1:15 p.m., CEIT room 3142. Details online.

Career workshop: "Law School Bound," 12:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, details online.

Career workshop: "Preparing for the LSAT," 1:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, details online.

Career workshop: "Teaching English Abroad," 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, details online.

Career workshop: " Exploring Your Personality, Part II," 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1112, details online.

Parking Services office will close for software upgrade and training at 3 p.m., reopening Tuesday, March 25.

Chemical engineering seminar: Richard Braatz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Modeling and Design of Multiscale Chemical Systems,” 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

Discussions Without Borders: weekly group on international development topics, 5:30, Student Life Centre room 3103, sponsored by Engineers Without Borders.

Render (UW art gallery) closing concert for “Deaderer” exhibition, featuring FightWithBears, five-piece hardcore band, 7 p.m., East Campus Hall.

Alumni theatre evening in Toronto: “Stuff Happens”, Berkeley Street Theatre, 8 p.m., details and registration online.

Good Friday holiday Friday, March 21, classes cancelled, UW offices and most services closed (libraries open noon – 6 p.m.).

Anglican services: Good Friday, 11 a.m., St. Bede's Chapel, Renison College. Easter Vigil, Saturday 8 p.m., Holy Saviour Church, 33 Allen Street East, Waterloo. Easter Sunday, 10:30 a.m., St. Bede's Chapel.

University Catholic Community services: Good Friday noon and 3; Easter Vigil Saturday, 8 to 11:30 p.m.; Easter Sunday 8:30, 10 a.m. and noon (no Mass at 7 p.m.), Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s University.

Joint health and safety committee meets Monday, 2, Commissary room 112D.

Senate finance committee meets Monday, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Senate meets Monday, 4:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001. Agenda is online.

Single and Sexy auditions, Monday, 6 to 10 p.m., Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall. All welcome.

K-W Little Theatre auditions for “The Three Musketeers” (performance is in July), March 24-26, 7 to 10 p.m. (come any night), Math and Computer room 2034.

Smart Searching: Trellis, Journal Articles, and the Internet. Library workshop Tuesday, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Dana Porter Library, FLEX Lab, 3rd floor. Details and registration online.

Student exchanges with German universities: presentation for first- and second-year engineering students, Tuesday, March 25, 11:30 a.m, Davis Centre room 1304.

Passport to Health, Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Music student recitals, Conrad Grebel chapel, 12:30: Tuesday, March 25; Thursday, March 27; Monday, March 31; Wednesday, April 2.

Academic Book Sale outside UW bookstore, South Campus Hall, March 25-27.

FEDS general meeting Tuesday, March 25, 3 p.m., SLC Great Hall

Waterloo Centre for German Studies presents Jagoda Marinic, reading from her novel, Die Namenlose, Tuesday, March 25, 4 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218. Details: or call 519-888-4567, ext. 33684.

Study shows smoking in cars a health hazard

from UW Media Relations

A new study from the University of Waterloo is one of the first to show that smoking in a car poses a potentially serious health hazard to occupants — particularly children — and that common methods of ventilation do not eliminate the hazard.

The Waterloo study concludes that tobacco smoke pollution (TSP), also called second-hand smoke, reaches unhealthy levels in cars, even under realistic ventilation conditions. The chronic nature of highly concentrated TSP exposure in cars poses a real health hazard, particularly among children, who are generally more vulnerable to the impact of environmental insults.

"Smoking even a single cigarette in a car generates extremely high average levels of tobacco smoke pollution and exceeded the levels of a smoky pub," says Taryn Sendzik, a UW graduate student who conducted the study with UW psychology professor Geoffrey Fong, and with Mark Travers and Andrew Hyland, two researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.

Geoff Fong, psychology prof"Tobacco smoke pollution, which is easily inhaled deep into the lungs, poses a serious health hazard to children because the car's small cabin space contributes to concentrated exposure," says Fong (left), who is principal investigator of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC). The ITC is conducting studies of the impact of tobacco control policies, such as smoke-free laws, in 15 countries, including Canada, the United States, China, France, Germany, Thailand and Malaysia.

The findings of the study, entitled An Experimental Investigation of Tobacco Smoke Pollution in Cars, are presented in a special report of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, which provided partial funding for the research.

TSP is a complex mixture of poisonous gases and chemicals, including hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, arsenic and benzene. It has been designated as a known human carcinogen by a number of regulatory agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization.

In the study, TSP levels were measured in 18 different cars. Drivers smoked a single cigarette in their cars in each of five controlled air-sampling conditions. Each condition varied on the car's movement, air conditioning, open windows and combinations of those airflow influences.

The carefully created conditions captured a wide range of air flow/ventilation environments from very little ventilation to all four windows open all the way while the car was moving. Air quality readings were measured using a portable air-monitoring device, with the collector tube located in the back seat at approximately the level of a child's head in a car seat.

“Smoking just a single cigarette in a car generated extremely high average levels of TSP in the condition with the least airflow, specifically a motionless car with all windows closed,” said Sendzik. “The levels found under this no-ventilation condition are equivalent to more than 100 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 24-hour standard for fine particle exposure.”

Even in moderate ventilation conditions — air conditioning or having the smoking driver hold the cigarette next to a half-open window while driving — the average levels of TSP still reached significantly high levels.

There has been a recent surge of jurisdictions that have banned smoking in cars with children, including, in the U.S., Arkansas, Louisiana and California, and two Australian states.

In Canada, Nova Scotia became the first province late last year to legislate a ban on smoking in cars carrying children, after the town of Wolfville, N.S., passed a municipal bylaw banning the practice in November. A number of Canadian provinces (British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) are considering a ban.

In Ontario, Premier Dalton McGuinty has announced that the Liberal Government will introduce such legislation in the new session of the Legislative Assembly.

Fong says that “the proposed legislation, along with a strong educational campaign, is what is needed to protect our children from this potentially significant health hazard, as indicated by the findings of our study.”

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A Royal prime minister? and other notes

Kevin Royal, FEDS presidentFEDS president Kevin Royal (left) could become Canada's Next Great Prime Minister — depending on how he fares in the final television show this Sunday. Royal was one of ten semi-finalists (out of 144 candidates) who attended a three-day “boot camp” in Toronto in early February. The four finalists were just announced on the competition’s blog. They are Pam Hrick, Alika Lafontaine, and Rahim Moloo as well as Kevin Royal. On Sunday evening they will be grilled by a panel of actual former prime ministers (Paul Martin, John Turner and Kim Campbell, as well as Newfoundland premier Danny Williams) and will then be chosen by the studio audience. The winner gets $50,000. The Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister show, hosted by Rick Mercer, airs Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBC Television.

The University Secretariat requests nominations for the following seats on the UW Senate: one faculty representative from each faculty; seven faculty-at-large representatives; one Renison College faculty member; one St. Jerome's University faculty member; two graduate students. Details and nomination forms are available online or from the Secretariat (ext. 36125, Needles Hall, Room 3060.) At least five nominators are required in each case. Nominations should be sent to the Secretariat, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3 p.m., Friday, March 28. Elections will follow if necessary.

Angus Kerr-Lawson, professor emeritus in philosophy and pure mathematics, has won the Herbert Schneider Award – described as the most prestigious award of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, given to recognize "career-long achievement of distinguished contributions to the understanding of American philosophy." Despite officially retiring in 1996, says Tim Kenyon, chair of philosophy, Kerr-Lawson remains “an active researcher of the history of American philosophy, focusing especially on the thought of George Santayana.He founded and has long edited the bulletin of the Santayana Society, Overheard in Seville.”

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Weekend marked by solemn and joyous days

This Friday is a statutory holiday: most (not all) staff, students and faculty will have a long weekend, and most university offices and services will be closed. Key services at UW will, however, always be accessible:

  • UW Police: 519-9888-4911; ext. 22222 if dialing on campus
  • Student Life Centre is open as usual; turnkey desk 519-888-4434; ext. 84434 on campus
  • Emergency maintenance calls: ext. 33793
  • Computer emergencies: ext. 34357

Others services will have shortened hours: The UW Bookstore and other retail services outlets will close on Friday and Saturday, as well as Sunday. The Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries will be open noon – 6 p.m. on Friday; Saturday and Sunday hours will not change. Many campus food outlets will close early today and will not be open Friday: exceptions are REVelation, open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday; Mudies, open 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday through Sunday; Tim Hortons in the Student Life Centre, open 10 to 3 Saturday.

We’re heading into the holiest days in the Christian calendar. On campus, at Renison College (Anglican), special services take place tonight at 7; Good Friday at 11 a.m.; and Easter Sunday at 10:30 a.m., all in St. Bede's Chapel. A joint Easter Vigil service takes place Saturday, 8 p.m., at Holy Saviour Church, 33 Allen Street East, Waterloo, with Renison’s chaplain, the Rev. Canon Megan Collings-Moore, delivering the homily. At St. Jerome’s University (Roman Catholic), services begin tonight at 8 p.m. with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament; Good Friday at noon and 3 p.m.; Easter Vigil on Saturday, 8 to 11:30 p.m.; Easter Sunday at 8:30, 10 a.m. and noon (no Mass at 7 p.m.), all at Siegfried Hall.

flowering treeThis is also the first weekend of the spring equinox (which arrived at 1:49 this morning), a focal point for many cultural and religious high days. Happy New Year to UW’s many Iranian students, staff and faculty members, for whom the first day of spring is also Nowruz (which means “new day” in Farsi). Friday is Purim, the Jewish remembrance of survival in ancient Persia. Saturday is Holi, the Hindu festival of colours, and Hola Mahalla, an event celebrating Sikh valour.

Monday is a regular working day for the university.

CPA Staff

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