Tobacco Smoke: The Most Common Toxic Chemical and Carcinogen in Households

Tobacco smoke is probably one of the most potent household products that contain the most carcinogens that can later be transformed to cancer. Tobacco smoke is also known as Second Hand Smoke (SHS) or Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). Tobacco smoke is known to take two forms which are known as:

1.       Side Stream Smoke (SSS): This is known as tobacco smoke that is generated from a lighted cigarette, pipe or cigar
2.       Main Stream Smoke (MSS): This is tobacco smoke exhaled by a smoker into the atmosphere that is inhaled by a non-smoker.

Mainstream smoke has been found to have as much carcinogens as side stream smoke. This is because either type of smoke (MSS or SSS) contains small particles that can easily enter into the body cells. Non-smokers when exposed to tobacco smoke passively can take up the nicotine and other harmful carcinogens found in tobacco in the process.

Tobacco smoke as a common household causes indoor pollution which health professionals believe is a primary concern for personal health and hygiene. Why is tobacco smoke dangerous to a non-smoker as well as a smoker? This question can be answered thus. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), the US national Toxicology Program (US NTP) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Tobacco smoke contains about 7,000 chemicals of which 250 are either toxic chemicals or materialsand 69 of these are carcinogens. A recent study showed that this toxic chemicals carcinogen called tobacco smoke has been linked with lung cancer, childhood leukemia (cancer of the blood), as well as larynx, pharynx, brain, stomach and breast cancer.

Although there are about 69 carcinogens in form of toxicchemicals in tobacco smoke, which will be discussed in subsequent articles on this blog, we shall just discus one of such carcinogens. This toxic chemical found in tobacco smoke that has been labeled a carcinogen by the IARC is Benzopyrene-diol-epoxide. This toxic chemical-carcinogen commonly found in the household of smokers’ causes’ cancer by randomly inserting itself in the grooves of the DNA. Once it binds itself to this groove, the DNA cannot replicate and transcribe effectively. This activity of this carcinogen causes mutations in daughter cells and unfavorable effects on the genes. This is just one of the many ways through which tobacco smoke can cause cancer to both smokers and non-smokers.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.