What Are the Health Risks of Secondhand Smoke?
More than 7,000 different chemicals have been identified in secondhand smoke. Of those, 250 have been identified as harmful, and 69 of those are known to cause cancer (carcinogenic). Some of the toxic chemicals include arsenic, benzene, the toxic metal beryllium, cadmium, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, tolulene, and vinyl chloride.
Secondhand smoke causes cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Toxicology Program, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have all classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen (a cancer-causing agent).
In addition to cancer, secondhand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and other illnesses.