Third-hand Smoke Accumulated On Surfaces Can Trigger Skin Diseases, Study Warns

By: | November 13th, 2022

Image Credit: Pixabay

Cigarette smoke is bad for you, even if it’s someone else’s smoke.

Not just first-hand smoke, we all are already aware of the risks of inhaling someone else’s ‘second-hand’ smoke. When someone smokes a cigarette, most of the smoke goes into the air, where anyone nearby can breathe it.

But now, a recent study has highlighted the risks of third-hand smoke!

A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, has found harmful effects from not just first or second-hand smoke, but third-hand smoke.

What Is Third-hand Smoke?

Tobacco smoke has more than 4,000 chemical compounds, and over 250 of these chemical compounds are known to cause disease.

The chemical residue left behind from cigarette smoke builds up over time. This gets settled on surfaces like walls, floors, carpets, furniture, curtains, and clothing for months to years. Household cleaning doesn’t always remove all these leftover chemicals.

The latest research has been conducted on 10 healthy non-smokers

They were asked to wear clothes affected by third-hand smoke(THS) for three hours and spend 15 minutes on a treadmill to induce perspiration and increase the uptake of THS through the skin.

THS may lead to the initiation of inflammation-induced skin diseases

The blood and urine samples of these 10 test subjects showed elevated biomarkers indicating oxidative damage to DNA and changes in blood protein levels.

While this smoke particle exposure test was relatively brief, researchers plan to investigate larger populations exposed for longer periods in the future to better understand how humans respond to third-hand smoke exposure.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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