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‘Third-hand smoke’ may represent a danger to young children: study

March 19, 2014

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Dallas – Remnants of cigarette smoke on household objects may be harmful, especially to young children, suggests a new study presented March 16 at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

In a study of “third-hand smoke,” researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California found that when cigarette smoke interacts with air pollutants such as nitrous acid, new and possibly dangerous compounds can be created.

Young children may be at greater risk for ill effects from exposure to third-hand smoke compounds because they are prone to pick up objects and put them in their mouth, researchers said.

To help eliminate third-hand smoke, researchers recommended vacuuming; washing clothes, curtains and bedding that have been exposed to smoke; removing smoke-tainted sofas and carpeting; and repainting walls.