New Study Reports Third-Hand Smoke to Be Highly Prevalent

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New study reported that third-hand smoke – chemical residue from cigarette smoke – can spread more moving throughout a seemingly smoke-free building

Third-hand smoke is referred as residual nicotine and other chemicals that are collected on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. This particulate matter can be absorbed through the skin, ingested or even inhaled if reemitted into the air. New study conducted by Drexel University reported new exposure route for these third-hand particulates. It was found that these chemicals can attach to passing aerosols and get back into the air, ultimately being transported into environments considered to be smoke-free. As a part of the study, air inside a non-smoking classroom was being studied for an unrelated project examining the movement of particles in the air from outdoors to indoors. It was found that chemical pollutants can travel into seemingly protected indoor environments. Co-author on the research Michael Waring suggests, “This study shows that third-hand smoke, which we are realizing can be harmful to health as with second-hand smoke, is much more difficult to avoid.”

Several research organizations are working on toxic health effects of third-hand smoke on primarily animal experiments or cell cultures. Mice studies have suggested third-hand smoke exposure can increase the risk of lung cancer and liver disease. However, adverse effects of these type of smoke on human health are unclear. Infants are found to be most prone group for developing risk of health problems related to third-hand smoke. Moreover, further research is required to know the adverse effects of third-hand smoke on human health. The study was published in the journal Science Advances in May 2018.

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