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Thirdhand Smoke Is the New Secondhand Smoke

Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:09:11 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(YORK, England) -- Yes, there is such a thing as thirdhand tobacco smoke, and yes, it’s considered as dangerous as inhaling smoke, either firsthand or secondhand.

That’s according to various researchers, including Jacqueline Hamilton at the University of York, who maintains the danger of carcinogens from cigarettes doesn’t disappear when the last puff is drawn.

Hamilton maintains, "Non-smokers, especially children, are also at risk through contact with surfaces and dust contaminated with residual smoke gases and particles.”

Hamilton and her team collected dust samples of thirdhand smoke and discovered that the cancer risk exceeded the EPA recommended limit in 75 percent of smokers’ homes and in two-thirds of non-smokers’ home.

How did carcinogenic materials wind up in the homes of non-smokers?

Alastair Lewis of the National Center for Atmospheric Science explains it comes from shared contact with smokers, “for example between clothes and surfaces and also enter homes via airborne transport of cigarette smoke.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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