The Dangers of Secondhand Smoking » Residence Style
Information about The Dangers of Secondhand Smoking » Residence Style
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says that the home is where children are mostly exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS). The harmful effects of SHS on health, not only on children, are well known. Unfortunately, many parents continue to smoke around their kids despite the widely known detrimental impacts of cigarette smoking exposure.
What Is Secondhand Smoke?
Secondhand smoke is the mixture of smokes exhaled by smokers and from the burning end of a cigarette. It contains over 7,000 chemicals, wherein hundreds are toxic, and about seventy can cause cancer. When non-smokers accidentally inhale this smoke when they’re near smoking individuals, they inhale the same cancer-causing poisons and substances as smokers.
Effects of Secondhand Smoke on Children
Secondhand smoking or passive smoking affects children more than adults because they have less well-developed lungs, airways, and immune systems. Below are some of the most dangerous and common effects on children:
1. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Babies with exposure to secondhand smoke after birth have twice the risk of SIDS than babies without exposure. Also, babies with mothers who smoke before and after birth are thrice to four times most likely suffer from SIDS.
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that 200,000 to 1,000,000 asthmatic kids have their condition worsened by secondhand smoke. In addition, passive smoking may also be the reason for thousands of new cases of asthma each year.
3. Lower Respiratory Tract Infections
Experts link secondhand smoke to 150,000 to 300,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infections each year, including bronchitis and pneumonia.
4. Middle Ear Infection
When a child inhales the smoke, it irritates the eustachian tube that connects the back of the nose with the middle ear. Swelling and obstruction occur, interfering with pressure equalization in the middle ear, resulting in pain, fluid, and infection. Middle ear fluid and ear infections are the leading causes of hearing loss among children.
Doctors prescribe certain medications as treatment but may require surgical insertion of tubes into the ears if they don’t respond to these medications.
5. Mental Impairment
Research shows the association between secondhand smoke exposure to mental health outcomes, including ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder among children and adolescents.
6. Slow Development of Lungs
The lungs of children exposed to secondhand smoke tend to develop more slowly than those who don’t have exposure.
7. Lung Cancer
Secondhand smoke exposure has been identified as a risk factor for lung cancer, not only to children, for many years now. Studies also suggest that individuals who have a first exposure before age 25 have a higher risk of lung cancer than those with exposures after they turn 25.
Creating a Smoke-Free Environment In Your Home
Even if you only smoke in one area or room in your home, the harmful chemicals can still spread from room to room and linger in the air for up to 5 hours. The best thing to protect your children and family from the harmful effects of passive smoking is to quit smoking. If you can’t, avoid smoking indoors and in other places with many people.
Furthermore, the chemical residue left by secondhand smoke can become embedded in your carpets, fabric, furniture, pillows, inside the drawers, insulation in a wall, etc. These are called thirdhand smoke. In addition to opening your windows and using fans and air conditioners, it’s always best to hire a reputable restoration company, such as PuroClean.
You don’t want to compromise your family’s health with short-term solutions. Note that tobacco smoke and odor removal require a professional step-by-step process with specialized equipment.