Story 2014-07-21 3RA Researchers demonstrate health risks posed by 'third hand' tobacco smoke

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

in science on (#3RA)
It seems popular opinion is relatively settled that breathing second-hand smoke is unhealthy, and that non-smokers who are exposed to it are at risk of illness. But the scientific evidence keeps piling up to support that theory, and even to extend the risks to another level: Third-hand Smoke!

Research into "third hand" smoke (residual tobacco smoke gases and particles that are deposited to surfaces and dust) has highlighted the potential cancer risk in non-smokers of non-dietary ingestion and dermal exposure to carcinogen N-nitrosamines and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) [Abstract].
Using a highly sensitive and selective analytical approach we have determined the presence of nicotine, eight N-nitrosamines and five tobacco-specific nitrosamines in forty-six settled dust samples from homes occupied by both smokers and non-smokers. Using observations of house dust composition, we have estimated the cancer risk by applying the most recent official toxicological information. Calculated cancer risks through exposure to the observed levels of TSNAs at an early life stage (1 to 6 years old) exceeded the upper-bound risk recommended by the USEPA in 77% of smokers' and 64% of non-smokers' homes.
[Ed. note: apparently, not only should you not stand next to someone smoking, but you shouldn't even walk through a place where someone has smoked, ever. Cancel my next trip to Paris, please.]
Reply 4 comments

What can you do? (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-07-21 11:42 (#2KM)

I've got a coworker that routinely takes smoke breaks outside at least twice a day, and every time he enters our lab he reeks of smoke. So, not only does he smell like an ash tray, but we are subjected to breathing in the harmful residual particles...great. They already make them smoke outside under a car port type shelter at least 100ft away from the office building entrance. How can you remove the residue from a smoker before they enter the building? I think we are all just subject to some degree of health degradation due to their unhealthy habit.

Re: What can you do? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-21 13:48 (#2KP)

Make him work in the garage/outside? Kidding - in this society, there's almost no way around it. Americans smoke way less than Europeans though. There were times in Paris that everyone on every side of me - including young women way too young to smoke - were puffing away like smokestacks. I felt like I was slipping out of the zone of 'second hand smoke" and rapidly approaching "first hand smoke."

Re: What can you do? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-21 18:14 (#2KY)

When a coworker that works in the same room as you comes in reeking of smoke, you suffer because of their habit.

Unfortunately, speaking from experience.

Re: What can you do? (Score: 1, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-21 18:18 (#2KZ)

Install an air shower, maybe. I wonder if in a few years time we will see people being turned down from jobs for smoking.