The major source of
indoor air contaminants is
What are the
harmful effects of tobacco smoke?
From "Indoor Air
Pollution." Co-sponsored by:
The American Lung Association
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and
The American Medical Association (AMA)
Environmental tobacco smoke is a major source of indoor
air contaminants. The ubiquitous nature of environmental tobacco
smoke iindoor is
avoidable. Environmental tobacco smoke is a dynamic, complex mixture of
more than 4,000 chemicals found in both vapor and particle phases, and many of
these chemicals are known toxic or carcinogenic agents. Nonsmoker exposure
to ETS-related toxic and carcinogenic substances will occur in indoor
spaces where there is smoking.
All the compounds found in "mainstream" smoke,
the smoke inhaled by the active smoker, are also found in "sidestream"
smoke, the emission from the burning end of the cigarette, cigar, or pipe.
ETS consists of both sidestream smoke and exhaled mainstream smoke.
Inhalation of ETS is often termed "secondhand smoking",
"passive smoking", or "involuntary smoking."
The role of exposure to tobacco smoke via active smoking
as a cause of lung and other cancers, emphysema and other chronic
obstructive pulmonary diseases, and cardiovascular and other diseases in
adults has been firmly established. Smokers, however, are
not the only ones affected.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has
classified ETS as a known human (Group A) carcinogen and estimates that it
is responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year among
nonsmokers in the United States. The U.S. Surgeon General, the
National Research Council, and the National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health also concluded that passive smoking can cause lung
cancer in otherwise healthy adults who never smoked.
Children's lungs are even more susceptible to harmful
effects from ETS. In infants and young children up to three years,
exposure to ETS causes an approximate doubling in the incidence of
pneumonia, bronchitis, and bronchiolitis. There is also strong evidence of
increased middle ear effusion, reduced lung function, and reduced lung
growth. Several recent studies link ETS with increased incidence and
prevalence of asthma and increased severity of asthmatic symptoms in
children of mothers who smoke heavily. These respiratory illnesses in
childhood may very well contribute to the small but significant lung
function reductions associated with exposure to ETS in adults. The adverse
health effects of ETS, especially in children, correlate with the amount
of smoking in the home and are often more prevalent when both parents
The connection of children's symptoms with ETS may not be
immediately evident to the clinician and may become apparent only after
careful questioning. Measurement of biochemical markers such as cotinine
(a metabolic nicotine derivative) in body fluids (ordinarily urine) can
provide evidence of a child's exposure to ETS.
The impact of maternal smoking on fetal development has
also been well documented. Maternal smoking is also associated with
increased incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, although it has not
been determined to what extent this increase is due to in utero
versus postnatal (lactational and ETS) exposure.
Airborne particulate matter contained in ETS has been
associated with impaired breathing, lung diseases, aggravation of existing
respiratory and cardiovascular disease, changes to the body's immune
system, and lowered defenses against inhaled particles. For
direct ETS exposure, measurable annoyance, irritation, and adverse health
effects have been demonstrated in nonsmokers, children and spouses in
particular, who spend significant time in the presence of smokers.
Acute cardiovascular effects of ETS include increased heart rate, blood
pressure, blood carboxyhemoglobin; and related reduction in exercise
capacity in those with stable angina and in healthy people. Studies have
also found increased incidence of nonfatal heart disease among nonsmokers
exposed to ETS, and it is thought likely that ETS increases the risk of
peripheral vascular disease, as well.
• Home • Up • Trees Reduce Air Pollution • House Plant Air Purifiers • Pollution Health Problems • Environmental Health Problems • ETS Harmful Effects • Tuberculosis • Combustion Pollution • Air Pollution Sources • Chemical Sensitivity • Humidifier Fever • Radon • Asbestos • Air-Pollution-Stunts-Lung-Development •
Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Solutions
Phil can help you fix your own property’s mold
problems at low-cost, more safely, and better-in- results than what is done
by many mold inspectors and mold contractors. How can Phil help you?
1. Read Phil’s five plain-English,
mold advice books to master mold
inspection, testing, removal, remediation, and prevention for your house,
condo, apartment, office, or workplace.
2. Buy do-it-yourself, affordable
mold test kits,
mold lab analysis,
video inspection scope,
and a mold-killing
ozone generator for the successful toxic and household mold
inspection, mold testing, mold species identification and quantification,
mold removal, and
mold remediation to find mold, kill mold,
clean mold, and
remove mold from your residence or commercial building.
3. Get FREE mold advice, mold help, and/or answers to
your mold questions, by emailing mold expert Phillip Fry at
You can also email pictures of your mold problems in jpeg
file format as email attachments.