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Researchers demonstrate health risks posed by 'third hand' tobacco smoke
Date:7/16/2014

igarette 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
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Contact: Caron Lett
caron.lett@york.ac.uk
44-019-043-22029
University of York
Source:Eurekalert

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