Second hand smoke is the combination of smoke from a burning cigarette and smoke exhaled by a smoker. Third hand smoke is the residue from second hand smoke. Second and third hand smoke are known as environmental tobacco.
Environmental tobacco smoke contains almost all the same toxins and carcinogens that have been identified in the cigarette smoke inhaled by the smoker, though at less concentrated levels. These toxins include: 
• Benzene
• Carbon monoxide
• Chromium
• Cyanide
• Formaldehyde
• Lead
• Nickel
• Polonium
The risks of environmental tobacco smoke are well known.  According to the CDC, exposure to environmental tobacco at home or at work increases a nonsmoker’s risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and the risk of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent. Environmental tobacco is linked to low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, emphysema, other chronic respiratory problems, nasal irritation, lung infections, middle ear infections, nasal cavity cancer, cervical cancer, bladder cancer, and eye irritation. There are some studies that link second hand smoke to breast cancer.  The CDC says that there are no safe levels of second hand smoke. If you work in an environment with smokers, the smoky smell that accumulates in your hair and clothing may also affect your family. The toxins in second hand smoke build up in your clothing and react with the air. Dangerous carcinogens are released back into the air and can be absorbed through the skin and mucus membranes of others. Third hand smoke has been linked to cancer and respiratory illness in children.
You are entitled to a safe workplace. If you are a non-smoker and have become sick or a medical condition worsened because of environmental tobacco smoke at work, you may be entitled to Workers' Compensation benefits. However, you must be able to prove that your illness was caused by your work environment.
A Kansas City workplace injury attorney with experience in Missouri workers' compensation cases can help prove that second hand smoke caused an environmental hazard in your workplace by showing:
• A sensitivity to second hand smoke.
• A diagnosis of a medical condition known to be caused or aggravated by second hand smoke.
• A medical confirmation of the relationship between second hand smoke and your illness.
• That you had significant exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in the work place or were forced to share your working daily working environment with smokers.
• That you hand minimal environmental tobacco exposure outside of work.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.