- A new study finds levels of third-hand smoke can linger in homes for years at dangerous levels.
- Two of the three compounds in third hand smoke can cause cancer and can be ingested through inhalation of air, dust, or skin contact.
- Even a home that doesn’t smell like smoke can leave behind contaminants.
Third-hand smoke is what researchers use to describe what cigarettes leave on the surfaces, walls, and furniture of your home after the smoke is extinguished.
When nicotine in cigarette smoke interacts with nitrite, a common molecule in indoor (and outdoor) air, it leaves a residue of three compounds. Two of them (known by the acronyms NNK and NNN) are known carcinogens.
of this trio
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have released a new study on third-hand smoke (THS) that predicts potential exposure of non-smokers living in smoked homes. announced.
Researchers have found that the amount of these chemicals present in homes where smoking is a regular occurrence can exceed California’s safety guidelines.
The research will be published in a journal environmental science and technology.
In California, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) enacted Proposition 65 No Severity.
14 nanograms per day risk level (NSRL) for NNK. Exposure to long-lasting compounds via inhalation, dust ingestion, direct contact, air-to-skin deposition, and epidermal chemistry were all rated above his NSRL in California.
Study co-author Professor Georg Matt of San Diego State University said: medical news today:
“Other studies have shown that third-hand smoke can persist for years in heavily smoked homes. He was a 1 pack a day smoker for over 20 years, quit 9 years ago, and has never smoked in his apartment or ever since. I didn’t allow it.”
Dr. Hugo Detaillats, principal investigator of the study, senior scientist in the Indoor Environment Group of the Department of Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts, said: talked to MNT He pointed to some key findings from a previous study of more than 200 homes.
“I’m talking sizes from a few micrograms per square meter to thousands of micrograms per square meter.
Dr Destaillats said short visits to such homes, or public spaces or restaurants where smoking was previously permitted, should not cause concern, even if they exceed the NSRL.
“We calculated the daily dose that someone could inhale or ingest, or get through the skin. These are long-term, chronic exposures. You go to a place where you smoke, you can have very high exposures in a short period of time, and if you integrate that over the years, that exposure is nothing.”
— Dr. Hugo Detaillats
“The presence of stale cigarette smoke odor is a reliable indicator of third-party smoke contamination,” said Professor Matt. “But the lack of smell No It’s a reliable indicator of the absence of THS,” he emphasized.
“This is because not all chemicals in THS are odorants, and some of the odorous components of THS may have disappeared,” he explained.
Dr. Rachael A. Record, associate professor in the Department of Communications at San Diego State University, who was not involved in the study, explained: medical news today“Even freshly cleaned spaces can leave behind third-hand smoke reservoirs that re-release toxic substances into the environment.”
“Realtors have the tools, and painting is a temporary way to get rid of odors,” Dr. Destaillats quoted a comment he often hears. “
Dr. Destaillats explained that this could be because the gypsum powder within the drywall is a “big sink for tobacco contaminants.”
Dr. Record suggested some steps people can take to eliminate or minimize third-hand smoke from a place.
“The most effective way to protect yourself from third-hand smoke is to remove and replace all places where third-hand smoke can stay,” he said.
“This includes not only removing existing furniture and decorations in the room, such as sofas and drapes, but also replacing carpets, drywall and other materials prone to third-rate smoke. ”
— Dr. Rachel A. Record
“A more cost-effective solution is to open windows regularly to create a cross-breeze, wash fabrics frequently and wipe down surfaces, and vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter. It doesn’t get rid of the reservoir, but it does provide some relief.”
“The success of remediation efforts will depend on the degree to which indoor environments are contaminated by third-hand smoke. Professor Matt.
“When someone buys a house that has been smoking for years, there is little they can do other than watering it down and remodeling it.” He also endorsed the use of HEPA filters in vacuums and air purifiers.
Dr. Detaillats says cleaning with a specific cleaning agent may be a good first step. Painting some products blocks contaminants. ”
However, Dr. Destaillats expressed concern about the lack of research on the effectiveness of painting on long-term neutralization of toxins.
Finally, he said we might consider using an ozone generator. And the problem is again long-term. “
Dr Destaillats said his team is evaluating how well the ozone generator can remove surface contaminants.
“We are not measuring odors. We are measuring surface concentrations,” said Dr. Detaillats.
“E-cigarettes are a source of nicotine in an indoor environment,” says Dr. Destaillats. “We show it, and many other studies show it.”
He said the amount of smoke emitted from e-cigarettes is less than traditional cigarettes. Tobacco, on the other hand, emits whether a person smokes or not. “
E-cigarettes are also cleaner in that fewer chemicals are released into the air.
“But the only chemical that is released at the same level is nicotine, because that was the purpose of e-cigarettes: to replace the amount of nicotine you get with regular cigarettes,” added Dr. Destaillats.
“At first,” Dr. Destaillats recalled. [the Berkeley Lab] published a highly influential paper in 2010 that, in a way, sparked interest in this third-hand smoke. Since then, there have been many studies that solidified our understanding. “
“What we are currently doing in this paper is putting all of that into a few simple models to predict the potential exposure of nonsmokers living in those environments.”
“So our research group is part of a larger organization called the Third Hand Smoke Consortium. you will get.”
The Consortium will use the funds for research and educational programs. “We are doing important work involving the public and translating research into actionable steps,” he said.
The Consortium’s Third Hand Smoke Resource Center is a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in learning more about third hand smoke at home.
Dr. Matt, who is also a member of the consortium, said: [home-testing] kit.
For more information, visit the Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center FAQ page. The Resource Center also accepts inquiries by e-mail.