Business Council on Indoor Air

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

The Business Council on Indoor Air (BCIA) was a tobacco and chemical industry front organisation run by Paul A Cammer (aka Camer). It should not be confused with BOMA which is the [[Building Operators and Managers Association[[, but the two certainly had some affinities (the tobacco industry funded BOMA's magazine and some conferences).

The BCIA also published a magazine "Indoor Air Bulletin" which was funded by tobacco and chemical companies, and it had Gray Robertson of Healthy Buildings International as one of its directors -- a sure sign that it was being run by Philip Morris or the Tobacco Institute. [2] The magazine was established in late 1988.

BCIA Staff

The BCIA had a staff of six:

Documents & Timeline

1988 Sep /E The BCIA was established by Paul Oreffice of Dow Chemicals for the Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) and the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA). Paul A Cammer was hired to run the organisation. He had previously run the PR firm Cammer & Associates, 1225 19th Street, Washington DC.

1989 Aug Paul Cammer has been planting a tobacco industry article in Chemical Week the journal of the CMA. [3]

1989 Sep The report of John Lyons from the Tobacco Institute

Nearly a year ago, we helped establish and began working with a new trade group -- the Business Council on Indoor Air. BCIA represents several major chemical manufacturers and firms specializing in indoor air analysis. The chemical companies share our concerns about EPA being given jurisdiction to research and pass judgment on individual components of indoor air.

We are not members of BCIA -- the chemical companies said they would not participate if tobacco was involved -- but we are able to wield substantial influence over the direction of the group. We pay several of our indoor air consultants to be members of the organization, seats on the board of directors. In addition, we make public relations and legal and legislative counsel available to BCIA.

The executive director of BCIA (Paul Cammer) has been extremely helpful. He has provided timely intelligence and advice on developments at EPA. He has also appeared before the EPA Science Advisory Board to criticize in strong terms a report the agency produced on indoor air research needs that called for extensive pollutant-by-pollutant research.

Like AFGE (the union of American Federal Government Employees), BCIA testified last spring before Senator Lautenberg. BCIA opposed vesting EPA with sole authority over any federal indoor air program, urging Congress to create an interagency committee to oversee the issue. BCIA urged a building systems approach to the problem rather than a source-by-source witch hunt. BCIA also argued that, despite the claims of its author, the Mitchell bill would greatly expand EPA's regulatory authority. We were able to comment on BCIA's draft testimony.

BCIA is also appearing before Congressman Scheuer today. And again our views will be represented but without our fingerprints.[4]

1989 Sept An article by Cammer in theIndoor Air Bulletin included material on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and asbestos, but exonerates tobacco. [5]

1993 Dec 28 Philip Morris report on ETS/Accommodation activities uses initials to identify internal staff (handlers) and external contractors (lobbyists).

Philip Morris is creating op-eds on IAQ and risk assessment, which will be distributed to the media (by Tom Hockaday at APCO) under the fake bylines of:

1996 The testimony of Gray Robertson, of Healthy Buildings International (HBI) discussed the BCIA. He says that he was approached by Peter Sparber, the contract Issues Manager for the Tobacco Institute. (He misspells the name as 'Sparger')

"He told me that he was excited about this BCIA which I presume had been running for several years then ... and that they were very involved in studying the effects of different pollutants in the environment. And I thought it would be a good idea to meet them, because they are talking to some very large companies. I think some of the members of the BCIA were people like Union Carbide, Dow Chemicals, Owens Corning, possibly ICI, and there were a couple of (HVAC) filter manufacturers. I think Enviro Care was one of them.

He made a presentation to them and they asked if he would join the group (as a IAQ testing contractor)

[Slightly paraphrased:] Owens Corning were concerned about a witchhunt on fiberglass because they make fiberglass. Dow Chemicals might have been concerned about different volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the buildings ... (and others) were concerned about paints and adhesives ... etc. [He was asked to pay a membership fee of $15,000, which he didn't have] I spoke to Peter Sparber who suggested he talk to the tobacco industry and ask them to recompense me if I paid the $15,000.

Jeff Seckler (the later HBI whistleblower) was on their technical committee. [7]

Another testimony (refering to the original) carries this note:

"HBI took $15,000 from TI (to pay for membership in the Business Council on Indoor Air -'BCIA") in return for producing pro-tobacco articles, testimony and inspections . (Robertson TR 97-100)." [8]

Section missing here. Simmons material POSSIBLY (CHECK) [9] Note There are many Simmons affidavits and testimonies but none with this date ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE INVESTIGATION STAFF REPORT [10]
Also see [1] [2] [3] [4]

  1. Exhibit 1: The Roper organization, "A Study of Public Attitudes toward Cigarette Smoking and the Tobacco Industry," (May 1978).
  2. Exhibit 2: Statement of Reginald B. Simmons, (Dec. 9, 1994).
  3. Exhibit 3: Affidavit of Jeffrey R. Seckler, (Dec. 9, 1994).
  4. Exhibit 4: "The HBI Concept."