What am I Inhaling?
(for non-smokers)

Even if you don't smoke, exposure to the chemicals released at the lit end of another person's cigarette ("sidestream" smoke) may damage your health.

Fill in this form to explore your Personal Inhalation Rate for each of 39 chemicals found in "sidestream" smoke:

(You'll need Internet Explorer 3 or above to use this page.)

Body Weight in kilograms (1kg = 2.2 lbs):    

Age group:          

Chemical Name:    

Length of room in meters (1 m = 3.3 ft) :  

Width of room in meters (1 m = 3.3ft):     

Height of room in meters (1 m = 3.3ft):     

Number of lit cigarettes:         

Number of hours of exposure:

The amount of the chemical you've absorbed is: micrograms.

The following is a description of the chemical you've selected and its effects on your body:

The hazardous nature of each chemical is usually based on studies involving healthy adult male workers, not females or children.

Children are particularly susceptible to damage from hazardous chemicals, since their bodies are still growing, and their breathing rate is much faster compared with that of an adult.

Breathing rates were obtained from the following source: DesJardins, Terry; "Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology: Essentials for Respiratory Care." 2nd Edition, Delmar Publishers, Albany, New York, 1993.

Many of the chemicals in tobacco smoke interact with each other and the air, and consequently, toxicity or carcinogenicity of a given chemical may be greater than that depicted here.

The average of each sidestream smoke chemical amount over all standard-tested cigarettes (taken from a recent report by the Government of British Columbia, 1997) was determined for use in the above calculations.

The ASHRAE Standard (62-1981) Office Ventilation Rate of 10 L/second was employed as a constant in the above calculations. In many structures ventilation rates may be considerably lower, thus raising the actual inhalation rate per chemical.

Calculations used in the determination of personal inhalation rates were based on work by James L. Repace, MS, and Alfred H. Lowrey, PhD, titled "An indoor air quality standard for ambient tobacco smoke based on carcinogenic risk", New York State Journal of Medicine, 381 - 383, July 1985.

Do you smoke?  Find out more about the chemicals you inhale!
smoking indoors:  (mainstream smoke & second-hand smoke
smoking outdoors (mainstream smoke only)