Ozone, second-hand smoke... these air pollutions that are easily overlooked

Date: 2022-06-10 Categories: Industry News Hits: 269

When it comes to air pollution, we always think of formaldehyde or PM2.5. But there are actually many types of air pollution. The risk of harm to infants and young children caused by pollutants such as ozone and second-hand smoke is not lower than that of formaldehyde or PM2.5.

Air pollution and secondhand smoke

Outdoor air contains several substances that are harmful to children, and one of the most worrisome is ozone: a colorless gas that can cause harm if it exists close to the ground. Ozone is formed when sunlight hits car exhaust and industrial emissions of chemicals (nitric oxide, reactive hydrocarbons). Ozone concentrations are likely to be highest during the hot summer months, peaking between noon and mid-afternoon.

If you live next to a major road, there is a good chance that your child will be affected by problematic diesel exhaust. Because, when children play outdoors, they are easily affected by ozone, and some may experience breathing difficulties and asthma in adolescence. Children breathe faster than adults and inhale more pollutants per kilogram of body weight.

Another common air pollution source comes from indoor problems—second-hand (or environmental) cigarette smoke, a type of smoke released from burning tobacco or from the mouthpiece or filter of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of households with children ages 3-7 have at least one smoker. If you or a family member smokes, pipes or cigars, your child is exposed to fumes containing thousands of chemicals, many of which have been shown to cause cancer and other diseases, such as respiratory infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Children exposed to cigarette smoke are also at risk of developing ear infections and asthma, as well as developing persistent colds. Children can also be prone to headaches, sore throats, scratchy throats, red eyes, dizziness, nausea, weakness, and irritability. For these reasons, many parents designate non-smoking areas at home.

 Thirdhand smoke is a relatively new concept and is generally defined as the smoke, residual nicotine, and other chemicals that stick to clothing, furniture, carpets, hair, and skin after smoking.

If parents smoke near a newborn, the baby is more likely to die from sudden infant death (SID). In addition, the nicotine and dangerous chemicals in cigarettes can pass into the breast milk of breastfeeding mothers and affect the baby.

When children are exposed to tobacco smoke, life-threatening diseases, such as lung cancer and heart disease, can develop at a later date. And, like adults, there is a higher chance of developing cataracts.

And one more important point: When you smoke at home, there is a risk of starting a fire that can burn children and others. Children can also be burned if they find and play with a burning cigarette, match, or lighter.

One study showed that smoking a cigarette indoors with closed doors and windows required two hours of ventilation before air quality fell below harmful levels.


When local warnings about smog pollution are issued, to protect children from air pollution, limit the time children spend playing outdoors, especially if they have respiratory problems such as asthma. Information on air quality in your community can be found on TV news and in newspapers.

1. To reduce air pollution caused by car exhaust in smog weather, you can choose public transportation or carpooling.

2. To reduce your child's exposure to surrounding tobacco smoke, follow these steps:

3. If you or a family member smokes, quit smoking!

4. Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home and car, especially when children are present.

5. Don't put ashtrays in your home, it will only encourage smokers to want to light one. Smoking must be prohibited at home and in the car.

6. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

7. When you are in public with your child, tell others not to smoke near your child. Choose a non-smoking restaurant.

8. Choose a qualified air purifier for your home.