Secondhand smoke has been around for a long time, but it has only been in recent years that we have learned how harmful it is to everyone’s health. Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke that comes off the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, cigar, and cigarillo and the smoke exhaled from the […]
Secondhand smoke has been around for a long time, but it has only been in recent years that we have learned how harmful it is to everyone’s health. Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke that comes off the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, cigar, and cigarillo and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of the person smoking. It is also called Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS).
Secondhand smoke is dangerous to the health of everyone (including pets) around it. It is made up of over 4,000 different substances, and 40 of those are known to cause cancer in humans and animals. It is unhealthy to be inside buildings, homes, and vehicles that allow smoking. This is because when visible smoke has disappeared, chemicals from the smoke are still hanging around ~ clinging to curtains, drapes, furniture, clothing, fabric and much, much more. When a person smokes he/she should always smoke outdoors.
The following is a partial list of chemicals found in secondhand smoke: Ammonia (causes severe eye damage, asthma); Aminonaphthalene (causes cancer…used to make dyes, rubber, and herbicides); Benzopyrene (linked to lung cancer deaths, skin cancer, emphysema); Formaldehyde (linked to lung, throat, mouth, liver, bone, skin, prostate, bladder, kidney, and eye cancers, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease…produces asthma-like conditions, lightheadedness, dizziness, itching eyes); Acetaldehyde (causes cancer in animals and may cause cancer in humans…used to ‘silver’ mirrors); Acrolein (used to make polyester resins, herbicides, tear gas, poison gas); Crotonaldehyde (used as warning agent in fuel gases); Methyl Ethyl Ketone (used to make solvents, resins, artificial leather, lacquers, varnishes); Hydrogen Cyanide (used in insecticides, electroplating, metallurgy, and photography); Nickel (causes cancer in humans); Lead (causes cancer in animals, linked to cancer in humans…damages brain, used to make glass, plastics, ceramics, bronze, brass); Cadmium (causes cancer in humans, especially dangerous to kidneys, used in making semiconductors, reactor control rods); Cresol (damages kidney function, causes tremors, used to make fumigants, explosives, disinfectants); Nicotine (used in making insecticides and tranquilizing darts for wild animals).
Unborn children, as well as, infants and young children whose parents smoke, are among the most seriously hurt by secondhand smoke. Pregnant mothers who are around secondhand smoke pass cancer-causing chemicals (nicotine, carbon monoxide and other chemicals) from the smoke to their unborn babies through the placenta from their blood systems. Infants and young children receive damaging chemicals through breast milk and in general, from breathing. These chemical compounds can cause genetic damage, hurt developing organs, retard growth, and often times lead to childhood bronchitis, ear aches, asthma, and leukemia.
Non-smoking adults can develop irritations of the eyes, nose, throat; become dizzy, nauseous; have increased episodes of respiratory infections, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia; develop asthma.
Secondhand smoke is not selective-it hurts everyone!