The Dangers of Thirdhand Smoke

Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and kills more than 5 million people every year.  Secondhand smoke, inhaled involuntarily from tobacco smoked by others, causes an additional 600,000 premature deaths per year.  Researchers have now identified additional health risks from thirdhand smoke.

Thirdhand smoke (THS) is smoke residue that accumulates in dust and on surfaces, including automobiles, indoor furniture, walls and floors.  In 2014, U.S researchers discovered that THS residue not only remains on environmental surfaces, it also becomes progressively more toxic as it ages.  Exposure to THS resulted in damage to the liver, lungs and wound healing, as well as increased hyperactivity in mice.  The research used an Agilent Bioanalyzer system, RNA 6000 Nano Assay Kit and GeneSpring software.

Additional studies employing Agilent GC/MS equipment have found that THS exposure also inhibits cell proliferation and causes metabolic changes to male reproductive cells.  And in a new study just published, California researchers found that THS exposure in mice caused insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.

The bad news in all of this is that tobacco poses health threats not only to smokers and those around them, but even to bystanders living in the homes of smokers, especially children.

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