Third hand smoke – a new health risk for smoking

We’ve all heard of “second-hand smoke,” the result of smokers exhaling and sending carcinogens into the air around them. The harmful effects of second hand smoke are well established. Third hand smoking is less known.

The term was coined in 2009 by doctors from the General Monetary Hospital for Children, and is used for persistent gases and tobacco smoke particles that adhere to clothing, hair, leather, carpets, upholstery and even wallpaper.

We all caught the smell of smoke after a smoker comes out of a closed space … This is a real world example of third hand smoke according to new studies.

Science has long known that tobacco smoke is absorbed on surfaces; So far no one was able to send in the perfect solution, which is not strange.

Scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducted laboratory tests and found “significant levels” of toxins on a substance exposed to smoke. Such residues can react with a common indoor pollutant to form hazardous chemicals called tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA). These residues can circulate for weeks and even months.

So smokers who may not indulge around their children, or crack the car window and smoke with their children in the back, unknowingly expose them to heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive substances long after the smoke from the cigarette has dissipated.

According to the researchers, third-hand smoking poses an unappreciated health hazard, which adds passion to the anti-smoking movement and calls for a ban on smoking in homes, vehicles, hotels and other public places. Young children are particularly sensitive because they breathe in close proximity to these surfaces, and do not hesitate to lick or suck them.

In tests, contaminated surfaces were exposed to high but reasonable amounts of nitric acid, which is common enough in the air that can come from non-guided gas appliances as well as most car engines and exhaust.

Exposure increased the levels of TSNAs generated tenfold. Traces of TSNAs were also seen on the inner surfaces of a truck that belonged to a heavy smoker.

Researcher Lara Gandel of National Laboratory Lawrence Berkeley admits that “smoking outside is better than smoking indoors, but nicotine residues will stick to a smoker’s skin and clothes. These residues follow a smoker inward and spread everywhere. .

Of course smoking advocates are skeptical of the danger. Simon Clark, director of the UK Foresters’ smoking group, said: “The dose causes poison and there is no evidence that exposure to such thin levels is harmful. It does not seem to matter. The aim, it seems, is to create an alarm in the hope that people will stop smoking or quit.”

No matter what you believe the new job implies making your home and car smoking a smart choice, especially if you have small children.

You can also limit exposure to third-hand smoke and after it as much as possible – wash your hands, change clothes, brush your teeth after smoking and before holding or feeding infants and young children.

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