So you may not smoke tobacco yourself, however, hopefully you are aware of the secondhand effects of being around those who do. Exposure to the toxins in secondhand smoke can cause asthma, cancer and other serious problems. But are you aware that secondhand smoke contains thousands of toxic chemicals in addition to cigarettes? The following list comprises toxic chemicals you may come across on a daily basis and should become aware of to avoid excessive exposure.
- Ammonia, used in cleaning products
- Butane, used in lighter fluid
- Carbon monoxide, found in car exhaust
- Chromium, used to make steel
- Cyanide, used in chemical weapons
- Formaldehyde, an industrial chemical
- Lead, a toxic metal
- Polonium, a radioactive substance
The dangerous particles in secondhand smoke can linger in the air for hours or even longer. It isn’t just the smoke that’s a concern, though. The residue that clings to a smoker’s hair and clothing, as well as cushions, carpeting and other goods — sometimes referred to as thirdhand smoke — also can pose risks, especially for children.