You Could Be Exposed To Third-Hand Smoke Even In Places That Haven’t Allowed Cigarettes In Decades
Tobacco residue can cling to surfaces and then move around the room. Research on the health effects of third-hand smoke suggests it could be harmful, but data remains scarce and mostly limited to studies involving mice.
The Washington Post:
Thirdhand Smoke Is Widespread And May Be Dangerous, Mounting Evidence Shows
First came doctors’ warnings about cigarettes. Then came discoveries about the danger of secondhand smoke. Now, a growing number of scientists are raising the alarm about thirdhand smoke — residual chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. Mounting research has shown such potentially hazardous residue can be absorbed through the skin, ingested and inhaled months and even years after the smoke has dissipated. (Wan, 5/9)
Los Angeles Times:
This Room Was Off-Limits To Smokers, But Its Air Contained Surprising Amounts Of 'Thirdhand Smoke'
Pop quiz: If you sampled the air in an empty college classroom where smoking is not permitted, what is the last thing you'd expect to find?If you guessed "cigarette smoke," you're in good company. Peter DeCarlo, an air quality researcher at Drexel University in Philadelphia, would have agreed with you. But when he examined the air from the unoccupied room, he discovered that 29% of the tiny particles suspended within it could be traced to the residue of cigarette smoke. (Kaplan, 5/9)
You Might Be Breathing Thirdhand Smoke
"The chemistry of this is very interesting," says Neal Benowitz, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and a leader of the California Consortium on Thirdhand Smoke. He says scientists have known for some time that the nicotine levels in walls and furniture can persist for years. "What this study shows is that thirdhand smoke moves around the room," he says. (Bate, 5/9)