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Third-hand smoke shown to cause health problems
Date:1/30/2014

nd smoke, which contains strong carcinogens, has been found to persist in houses, apartments and hotel rooms after smokers move out.

The team led by Martins-Green found that the mice exposed to third-hand smoke in the lab showed alterations in multiple organ systems and excreted levels of a tobacco-specific carcinogen similar to those found in children exposed to second-hand smoke (and consequently to third-hand smoke):

  • In the liver, third-hand smoke was found to increase lipid levels and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a precursor to cirrhosis and cancer and a potential contributor to cardiovascular disease.
  • In the lungs, third-hand smoke was found to simulate excess collagen production and high levels of inflammatory cytokines (small proteins involved in cell signaling), suggesting propensity for fibrosis with implications for inflammation-induced diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
  • In wounded skin, healing in mice exposed to third-hand smoke showed many characteristics of the kind of poor healing observed in human smokers who have gone through surgery.
  • Finally, in behavioral tests the mice exposed to third-hand smoke showed hyperactivity.

"The latter data, combined with emerging associated behavioral problems in children exposed to second- and third-hand smoke suggests that with prolonged exposure, they may be at significant risk for developing more severe neurological disorders," Martins-Green said.

Although the potential risks attributed to third-hand smoke exposure are increasing, virtually nothing was known about the specific health implications of acute or cumulative exposure until now.

"There is a critical need for animal experiments to evaluate biological effects of exposure to third-hand smoke that
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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