LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A company that sells air purification products says there’s a major hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip where indoor air quality is at least four times worse than any of the other 27 resorts where measurements were taken.
Wynd, the company that published the report in late January, doesn’t name the property, but says it had air quality that was 80 times worse than the air inside Aria Resort & Casino, the property that received the top rating. Park MGM — the Strip’s only smoke-free hotel-casino — had the second-highest air quality in the survey, and Wynn Las Vegas was third.
The study suggests that air inside a quarter of the casinos in the survey was worse than an average day in Beijing.
Raymond Wu, CEO and founder of Wynd, said the company’s intention was not to single out the worst properties, but instead to celebrate the resorts that were doing a good job with air quality. The list of properties where air quality was measured was not available from Wynd.
So why did Wynd do the survey?
Wu said, “We wanted to produce the study as people get back to indoor settings.” He said his company has no business relationships with any of the properties that are named.
“In some ways, it took a pandemic for people to realize that indoor air quality is essential to their health, their productivity and their safety,” he said.
But to others, the thought that any filtration system protects people from second-hand smoke is worse than a joke — it’s irresponsible.
Chris Moyer, head of communications for Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, questioned the motives behind a study by a for-profit air purification company that is likely looking for customers in the casino industry. He points to documentation put together by engineers that dispels claims that HVAC systems do anything more than deodorize the air.
Moyer is currently in the midst of a full-scale effort to close loopholes in New Jersey laws to prevent casinos there from allowing smoking after they had gone smoke-free after the COVID-19 pandemic. Moyer is highly critical of statements by casinos that believe they are protecting workers with improvements to their air circulation systems.
“The casinos are clinging to outdated business practices in 2022, and they are knowingly exposing these employees to second-hand smoke,” Moyer said on Friday.
In Nevada, there’s not even a whisper of any similar effort on behalf of non-smokers or casino employees.
A spokesperson for the American Lung Association told 8 News Now earlier this week that legislation might be the only way the situation ever changes. Park MGM remains the only smoke-free hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Nevada is one of 22 states with no comprehensive statewide smoke-free law.
“The American Lung Association will continue to advocate for strong smoke-free laws and policies. We strongly urge other casinos in Nevada to adopt a similar smoke-free policy for the health and safety of casino workers and patrons alike,” said JoAnna Strother, senior director of advocacy.
Air quality is not a workplace issue unless Nevada OSHA receives a formal complaint. There is no existing standard for enforcement.