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January 6, 2009

Third Hand Smoke

Ever have someone come into a room who reeks of cigarette smoke so strong that you back up to avoid them? Or maybe you've gone to a hotel and gotten a smoking room which you figure you could tolerate for a night. You get home and open your suitcase and it reeks of cigarette smoke. I'll admit I have a sensitive nose to these smells because I'm a non-smoker.

However, I grew up in a smoking household. Studies for years have said that children of cigarette smokers have more respiratory health problems such as colds and asthma, even if the parent does not smoke in the home. I was sick all the time as a kid with some kind ear, nose, or throat infection. So what's going on here? It the new health hazard associated with cigarette smoking called third hand smoke.

That’s the term being used to describe the invisible yet toxic brew of gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, not to mention cushions and carpeting, that lingers long after second-hand smoke has cleared from a room.

This hazard contains heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive materials. These particulates are a cancer risk for anybody who comes in contact with them. Most people don't know this health threat exists, but the offensiveness of the smell instinctively tells us to back up and get away. Trust your instincts and your nose.

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Posted by linda at January 6, 2009 11:03 AM

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