6. Added Industrial Pollutants
It has been estimated that every year 15.5 million people risk exposure to pollutants at the workplace and 400,000 people develop illnesses induced by the job. Tobacco smoke may transform workplace chemicals into much more harmful agents.
There are 15,000 toxic chemicals in U.S. industry today; each year about 400 new substances are introduced. But safety levels have been established for only a small fraction of the chemicals. The results of the interactions among these substances are incalculable. Some of the many toxic agents identified that can contaminate tobacco products are lead, inorganic mercury, inorganic fluorides, boron trifluorides, formaldehyde and cabaryl.
Some toxic agents in tobacco smoke may also occur in the workplace, thus increasing the smoker’s exposure to that substance. For example, over 20,000 workers in 75 different occupational groups have potential occupational exposure to cyanide, which can form a complex that results in the disruption of the function of the thyroid. Hydrogen cyanide is one of the toxic compounds in tobacco smoke. In a study of workers in electroplating exposed to cyanide, the majority complained of fatigue, headache, tremors of the hands and feet, pain, and nausea.
Studies with other toxic agents, such as carbon monoxide, have shown similar results. Among blast furnace workers, it has been found that the levels of carbon monoxide in the blood of smokers is double that found in smokers not similarly exposed. Levels of carbon monoxide were 7.5 percent; levels in excess of 5 percent can result in cardiovascular alterations.
Among other chemical agents found in tobacco smoke as well as the workplace are acetone, acrolein, aldehydes, arsenic, cadmium, ketones, lead, polycyclic compounds. Workers in such places who smoke are twice exposed to toxic substances: textiles, coal mining, uranium and gold mining, paint spraying, welding, firefighting, cooking kitchens and rubber. Workers exposed to radioactive gas, chlorine and coke ovens face similar dangers.
- 1. History
- 2. The Tobacco Plant
- 3. The Dangers Are Realized
- 4. Tobacco Toxins
- 5. Cigarette Smoking And Chronic Disease
- 6. Added Industrial Pollutants
- 7. Tobacco Subsidies
- 8. Effects On Fetus And Children
- 9. Involuntary Smoking
- 10. Live Healthfully
- 11. Eliminating The Smoking Habit
- 12. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: A Small Fire at One End and a Big Fool at the Other By Dr. Keki R. Sidhwa, N.D., D.O.