Secondhand smoke and the work place
There are a lot of chemicals that has placed most industrial workers at risk such hazards occurring from these chemicals are termed the occupational hazards. Some of these occupational hazards arises from exposure to the organic and inorganic compounds. The most delicate of such chemicals are those of the organic type and this has been attributed to their long term accumulation in the body tissues. Hence proper prevention of this cause of hazard is a pre-requisite for safe-guarding our health.
Secondhand smoke according to the American cancer society “is also known as environmental tobacco smoke or passive smoke and it is usually made up of two mixtures which are the side-stream smoke and main-stream stroke” (ACS, 2008). The main-stream is consider to be the smoke of tobacco cigarette which is usually exhaled by the smoker while the side-stream second hand smoke is the smoke that comes from the end of a lighted cigarette (ACS, 2008).
The word passive is used to denote that the worker at risk is not the primary smoker. The dosage or amount of exposure can be said to be directly related to the harmful effect of such smoke components on the patient’s body. Secondhand smoke as stated by American Lung Association was said to “contains more than 250 chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide”( American lung association, 2008).
The epidemiology of the disease caused by the secondhand smoke are as follow as stated by the American Cancer Society, “An estimated 35,000 deaths from heart disease in non-smokers who live with smokers, about 3,400 lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults, other breathing problems in non-smokers, including coughing, mucus, chest discomfort, and reduced lung function , 150,000 to 300,000 lung infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis) in children younger than 18 months of age, which result in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations, increases in the number and severity of asthma attacks in about 200,000 to 1 million children who have asthma”(ACS, 2008) Secondhand smoke also affects other organs in the body such as irritating the eyes, the nose, ear infection and also the throat irritation. It also affects the pregnancy of the woman leading to low birth weight child. Prevention of second hand smoke from a work place
As a new director of the new Director of Occupational Health and Safety, I will set up a community that will look into the cause of such secondary smoke, it prevalence and the worker’s health habit and status. I will also take note on the facts surrounding the effect of second hand smoke and consider the factor when creating a second hand smoke free environment. Such factors I will have to consider are (1) secondhand smoke is much more toxic than the smoke inhaled by smokers (2) secondhand smoke is a known human cancer causing agent (3) there is no safe level of exposure (4) the smoke of a cigarette takes time to leave a room, I mean clear from the air. The first thing I will have to do is to educate the workers about the effects of secondhand smoke on human body and also on the community at large.
This is because education liberates us from ignorance and set us free. I will also make or adopt a smoke free indoor air policy which we have to restrict workers from smoking within the working environment. This is a means of preventing people from actually smoking when they at work. I make it a law and disobedience will go with a penalty this is because the health of the workers is germane to the success of the organization. Motivation is another key aspect I will have to consider when taking a decision based on the effect of this toxic substance, this is because humans tend to listen when motivated and tend to achieve great things when properly motivated.
In some situation, I will have to encourage the use of ventilator which can also help reduce the concentration of such smoke in the working place, though this method has really being suggest by scientist as not really efficient method but can help reduce the concentration. I will also separate the smokers from non smokers this is because people take a longer time to change an existing habit. It’s a must for me to separate any pregnant woman from such toxic substance because of its effect on the fetus. I will also encourage such an individual to move away from any environment with the tendency of having second hand smoke. In conclusion, “basis is the mother of all knowledge” when we know what carcinogenic secondhand smoke can do to our body, then we all give it a fight and eradicate it existence in our workplace.