Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, May 2019, Volume 2, #58
Environmental tobacco smoke contains pollutants that can cause cancer, cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, impair reproductive and development effects. Examples of these pollutants include acrolein, formaldehyde, nitrogen oxides, cadmium, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, benzene acetaldehyde, etc. Now imagine frequent exposure of unborn child in the womb to these pollutants. Such an act will be unfair to the unborn child. A pregnant woman that often smokes will have a high concentration of these pollutants in her blood. The pollutants get to the blood mainly through inhalation and dermal uptake.
These pollutants get to the baby through the mother’s blood. Inhalation and dermal absorption are not restricted to 1st hand smoking period. The tobacco pollutants that persist in the indoor environment will increase the exposure period for both the pregnant mother and the unborn child in the womb. The adverse health effects caused by tobacco smoke to a newly born baby that was exposed in the womb of a pregnant woman that smokes are well documented in the literature. What can be done to reduce adverse health risk?
Do you want to know more about this topic? Click on the link to the report of the surgeon general to read how tobacco smoke causes disease. Additionally, read Gilliland et al. (2001), Hanrahan et al. (1992), and Wehby et al. (2011) papers.