Navigation Links
Researchers demonstrate health risks posed by 'third hand' tobacco smoke

Research led by the University of York has highlighted the potential cancer risk in non-smokers particularly young children of tobacco smoke gases and particles deposited to surfaces and dust in the home.

Until now, the risks of this exposure known as 'third hand tobacco smoke' have been highly uncertain and not considered in public policy.

However, a new study published in the journal Environment International, has estimated for the first time the potential cancer risk by age group through non-dietary ingestion and dermal exposure to third hand smoke. The results indicate potentially severe long-term consequences, particularly to children.

The research was carried out by York's Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories, the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, and the Chromatography and Environmental Applications research group at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain.

The study, which was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the General Research Directorate of the Government of Catalonia, also demonstrates for the first time the widespread presence of tobacco related carcinogens in house dust, even in 'smoke-free' environments.

Scientists collected dust samples from private homes occupied by both smokers and non-smokers. Using observations of house dust composition, they estimated the cancer risk by applying the most recent official toxicology information.

They found that for children aged one to six years old, the cancer risks exceeded the limit recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in three quarters of smokers' homes and two thirds of non-smokers' homes. The maximum risk predicted from the third hand smoke levels in a smoker occupied home equated to one extra cancer case per one thousand population exposed.

Lead investigator, Dr Jacqueline Hamilton, from York's Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories, said: "The risks of tobacco exposure do not end when a cigarette is extinguished. Non-smokers, especially children, are also at risk through contact with surfaces and dust contaminated with residual smoke gases and particles, the so-called third hand smoke. This risk should not be overlooked and its impact should be included in future educational programs and tobacco-related public health policies."

Each year 600,000 people die worldwide through passive inhalation of environmental tobacco smoke, also known as second hand smoke. As numerous countries have introduced smoking bans in public places, the home has become the main source of passive smoking exposure.

Professor Alastair Lewis, from York's Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, said: "Over 40 per cent of children have at least one smoking parent and whereas there is a general public awareness about the harms of second hand smoke, there is little knowledge about the dangers of third hand smoke. Carcinogenic materials can be passed from smokers to non-smokers during shared contact, for example between clothes and surfaces and also enter homes via airborne transport of cigarette smoke."

The researchers examined exposure to carcinogen N-nitrosamines and tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) in the dust samples. These are produced when nicotine deposits on indoor surfaces and then is released again to the gas phase or reacts with ozone, nitrous acid and other atmospheric oxidants. They are classified as carcinogenic for humans.

Measurements were made using a comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography system, which was originally funded by NERC to study particulate matter in the atmosphere.

Professor Rosa Maria Marc, from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, said: "This highly selective and sensitive instrument has allowed the small amounts of TSNAs stuck to the surface of house dust to be measured for the first time."

Dr Noelia Ramirez, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow from York's Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories who started this research line, said: "While TSNAs have been suspected to form part of third hand smoke as a result of laboratory studies, we have demonstrated for the first time the presence of carcinogenic tobacco-specific compounds, such as TSNAs, in settled house dust found in a panel of smokers' and non-smokers' homes.

"The TSNAs concentrations found in smoke-free homes would suggest that TSNAs formed in smoking environments can persist for extended periods, possibly due to partitioning to ambient particles, and subsequently be transported into non-smokers' homes from outside."


Contact: Caron Lett
University of York

Related medicine news :

1. Chinese researchers describe impaired self-face recognition in those with major depressive disorder
2. UC Davis Researchers' Discovery Has Implications for Developing Treatments for Deafness
3. Georgia State Researchers Discover Hidden Variations in Neuronal Networks, May Explain Differences In Traumatic Brain Injury Outcomes
4. RSNA: Researchers Assess Emergency Radiology Response After Boston Marathon Bombings
5. Researchers assess emergency radiology response after Boston Marathon bombings
6. MD Anderson researchers discover new route for ovarian cancer spread
7. Stanford researchers invent nanotech microchip to diagnose type-1 diabetes
8. Researchers Assess New Way to Boost Polio Immunity
9. Researchers See Link Between Dyslexia, Abuse
10. Mississippi Baby now has detectable HIV, researchers find
11. Fox Chase researchers recommend updating the staging criteria for breast cancer diagnoses
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... abuse located in central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share ... video, available for viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they ... to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales ... the Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, ... Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Ashburn, VA (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers ... range of cruise, destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... The Catalent ... and the need to integrate dose form selection in early phase drug development. ... membership organization supporting and bringing together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... PUNE, India , November ... --> ... / personal emergency response system ... grow steadily for 5 years ... growing region expected to see ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Bajos, November 26, 2015 Un ... de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   ... la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... combina la inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin ... Cancer Research . --> Clinical Cancer Research ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26 november 2015 AAIPharma Services ... geplande investering aan van ten minste $15,8 ... en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en extra capaciteit ... groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische en biotechnologische ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: