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‘Third Hand’ Smoke Just As Deadly As Smoking

From CBS Atlanta:

Study: Third-Hand Smoke Exposure As Deadly As Smoking

Benjamin Fearnow | February 3, 2014

Riverside, Calif. (CBS ATLANTA) – Exposure to surfaces and objects that have been saturated in cigarette smoke, labeled as “third-hand smoke,” is just as deadly as smoking the cigarette itself.

A new study from the University of California, Riverside finds that the third-hand smoke that has soaked into the surfaces, objects and environment around people becomes increasingly toxic over time. Third-hand smoke is defined as the second-hand smoke that is allowed to settle on objects in any environment. Non-smoking children, co-workers, spouses and friends of smokers breathe in such carcinogens left in rooms exposed to smokers.

This almost sounds like something from the Onion. Especially given that the reporter’s name is ‘Fearnow.’ But we especially like the part about how all of this "becomes increasingly toxic over time." How does that work?

“We studied, on mice, the effects of third-hand smoke on several organ systems under conditions that simulated third-hand smoke exposure of humans,” Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology who led the study, said in a statement to UCR Today. “We found significant damage occurs in the liver and lung. Wounds in these mice took longer to heal. Further, these mice displayed hyperactivity.” …

The study published in the journal PLOS ONE finds that third-hand smoke persists in houses, hotel rooms and other living spaces long after smokers move out. The mice exposed to third-hand smoke in the lab showed variations in multiple organ systems and excreted levels of a tobacco-specific carcinogen similar to children exposed to secondhand smoke. Wounds healed more slowly and the liver was negatively impacted.

“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 told UCR Today.

So third hand smoke drives kids crazy? Well, anyway, they has said the magic word: children. If third hand smoke affects ‘the children,’ we must do something about it immediately!

Contamination of surfaces in smokers’ homes exposed the mice to nicotine levels consistent with smoking itself. “More recently we have found that exposure to third-hand smoke results in changes that can lead to type II diabetes even when the person is not obese,” Martins-Green said.

Wow, third hand smoke can So it can even bring on type II diabetes. It sounds almost as all-powerful as global warming.

“There is still much to learn about the specific mechanisms by which cigarette smoke residues harm nonsmokers, but that there is such an effect is now clear. Children in environments where smoking is, or has been allowed, are at significant risk for suffering from multiple short-term and longer health problems, many of which may not manifest fully until later in life.” …

So not only might third hand smoke drive kids crazy, their craziness might not show up until later in life. That explains everything.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “‘Third Hand’ Smoke Just As Deadly As Smoking”

  1. imnewatthis

    Well, i didn’t see where they said it would drive children crazy.
    I was very taken aback by a story a friend told me. She had applied for a job as a nurse in a non-smoking hospital. (As far as I know they’re all non-smoking now.) The nurse manager asked if she smoked, and she replied yes. The mnager stated, well then I can’t hire you. My friend said but I can not smoke before work and go the whole workday without smoking. The manager said that doesn’t matter, because you just told me you smoke.
    Everything is changing. With no fanfare, almost all the bleach on store shelves no longer kills germs. I always use bleach for whites and my husband uses it to clean mildew off stuff, so it’s a staple for us. All of a sudden, each bottle has to be scrutinzed to see if it’s germicidal. (The ones that say “regular” usually are; the scented ones usually aren’t.) Alot of people probably dont even realize their bleach is no longer sterilizing their laundry or whatever they use it on. I explained all this to one of the store managers, he acted like he didn’t know anything about it, and I notice that store still has very little “regular” bleach. My best guess is this is some environmental push by the EPA or something, but it disgusts me that it seems no one wants to inform the public. Years ago we were taught to clean up blood spills with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water to kill HIV (I am a nurse). That will become a problem for lots of people if there is no more regular bleach.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I work in a highly technical field yet daily I am amazed at my peers’ and clients lack of scientific prowess. This includes a discussion on retrograde motion by planetary bodies in space, The chemical name for salt, which tied in with a discussion as to why salt helps ice melt on the roads and one of my peers argued that “It doesn’t really, it just makes better traction because it’s gritty”.

      So, I often say “hm” to myself.

      Don’t expect a store manager to understand ANYTHING about the products on the shelves. You’re not dealing with anyone of any great mental stature; He’s a high-school grad (maybe) and has been in the “store” bidniss for some time, hoping to move up the chain to regional manager, etc someday.

      If you want to get a sense of people’s (in general) scientific acumen, watch Leno’s “Man On The Street” interviews. These people are easy to find. They are everywhere. If you have kids, they sit next to them in school and if you could open their heads, you’d find them largely occupied by sex, American Idol, their favorite rap star, some dope, when the next party is happening and worrying if anyone else thinks they look cool or not.

      I just posted elsewhere with a reference to “As Good As It Gets” with Jack Nicholson playing the character of Melvin, a novelist. I seem to have more in common with him than with the rest of the 50% that thinks the world owes them a living. I read many of the lines from the IMDB website and found that I’m in 100% agreement with that character. Glad the writers understand people like me so well.

      In any case, technical ability stems from both the desire and the need to know. So often, people buy a can pf spraypaint without knowing the first thing on how to use it, what it’ll stick to, and how badly things can go wrong. Same with most everything. Do-It-Yourselfers deserve high praise in my book because they refuse to fail and if they booger up the spraypainting, they get a book or read online and LEARN and try again.

      That’s the America I’m so very fond of.

    • Gumption, grit and gravitas beat the snot everyday out of the Highly Credentialed but poorly learned.

      You’d have loved to know Wormy Teague, Rusty. The head of Maintenance at the fabric mill where my father worked as Controller. 1950s. Wormy had a third grade education .. as he called it, an edudamncation .. and was the best man I’ve ever met with his hands. Could wire anything. Could and did build a wonderful house, without plans. Could fix anything from V8s to tiny toys to Industrial Machinery to plumbing. Just by studying it for a while.

      My favorite Wormy Teague quote.

      My father happened upon Wormy working on a junction box that wasn’t switched off. “Wormy, ain’t you ever been hurt by electricity?” Dad asked. Wormy relied over his shoulder, “Naw. But I been hurt trying to let go of it a time or two.”

      I miss that guy

    • Steve

      “Well, i didn’t see where they said it would drive children crazy.”

      FTA: “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 told UCR Today.

  2. So let me get this straight. 3rd hand smoke, that being smoke that may have settled on surfaces around my house since I smoke, will kill mice. Wow, so my house is mouse proof and all I have to do is smoke? What’s the downside again? Oh, right. The children. I don’t have any.

    And what are these children doing… licking the walls? Maybe all the crazy comes from SMOKING CRACK which is what the authors of this study must have been doing.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      To my recollection, I’ve not heard of any child who was ever harmed by trying to eat a bicycle painted with lead-based paint.

    • I’m so sick of the “for the children” excuse from every doom-saying moron with a fax machine, a logo from “Free Logos ‘R Us”, and an agenda that involves getting back at their mommy by controlling other people’s behavior.

      Where can I get a government grant to study these people? I’ll put them in a sealed box with 3rd hand smoke, red dye #4, and several dozen white rats. Then I’ll have to come up with something to study.

  3. captstubby

    two packs Lucky Stricks Non Filter for 30 years,
    (quit 8 years ago)
    well, only one out of my four kids is crazy.
    (its a family joke between my oldest daughter and myself)

  4. BillK

    Wow, I bet breathing oxygen can ALSO lead to Type II Diabetes… go figure.

    • captstubby

      oxygen should come with a warning label.

      When oxygen began to first accumulate on
      Earth billions of years ago, it caused a crisis for
      primitive anaerobic bacterial life, which is
      actually poisoned by excess oxygen in the
      environment.Oxygen is toxic to obligately anaerobic organisms, which were the dominant form of early life on Earth until O2 began to accumulate in the atmosphere.
      Oxygen gas (O2) can be toxic at elevated partial pressures, leading to convulsions and other health problems.
      Reactive oxygen species, such as superoxide ion (O−2) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), are dangerous by-products of oxygen use in organisms.
      they literaly oxidize our bodys, “rusting it away”

      so not only was the introduction of Oxygen , the first Global Killer,(weapon of Mass Destruction) to the earliest life forms,its what probably causes us to Age.

  5. Petronius

    I support tobacco because it’s a Southern product.

    Besides, in the 2012 election it was firmly established that Romney caused cancer. Not cigarettes.

  6. bousquem25

    Probably the “levels” the mice were exposed to when to extrapolate to humans would mean you need to live in a coffin soaked in liquid cigarette smoke to have any chance for something to happen. Same thing happens when they say they gave some small amount of chemical A to a mouse to give it cancer, I would have to be eating pounds of it daily to get an equivalent dose based on body weight.

  7. bousquem25

    Probably the “levels” the mice were exposed to when to extrapolate to humans would mean you need to live in a coffin soaked in liquid cigarette smoke to have any chance for something to happen. Same thing happens when they say they gave some small amount of chemical A to a mouse to give it cancer, I would have to be eating pounds of it daily to get an equivalent dose based on body weight.

  8. canary

    CBS & Benjamin “Fearnow” gave deceptive headline, when the study did not say 3rd hand smoke was as deadly anywhere in their article and that only mice were tested.

    I expect more integrity from the main media. Ben Fearnow sure lives up to his name.




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