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What is thirdhand smoke?
It is smoke residual containing nicotine & other chemicals, left on indoor surfaces by cigarette smoke.
It clings to:
People can be easily exposed to these chemicals by touching the contaminated surfaces or breathing in the lingering gasses left on these surfaces.
Thirdhand smoke can be particularly toxic if it reacts with common indoor pollutants. Together they create toxic mixtures which threaten the health of non-smokers — especially infants and young children. They are most vulnerable to such effects.
How is it affected to the non smokers?
If you have a family member who smokes, it is pretty hard to avoid the thirdhand smoke exposure as a non-smoker. As it not only affects infants or young children, but everyone in your family of all ages.
Thirdhand smoke exposure may causes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is commonly known as unexplained death, due to improper sleeping position. Besides, it may also causes some health risks such as respiratory problems.
While children who are exposed to thirdhand smoke are more likely to have:
Although adults are not as vulnerable as infants or children, but that doesn’t mean that they are immune from the effects of it. In fact, they may cough more often, as well as at a higher risk of cancer later in life, especially lung cancer, from the repeated smoke exposure. Moreover, it may also lead to cancers of the:
Thirdhand smoke exposure can affect the unborn baby as pregnant women are at risk of taking in toxins from the smoke into your bloodstream, which can then transfer over to the fetus. A baby’s exposure to thirdhand smoke can lead to respiratory illnesses after birth.
So, how to remove the smoke residue on the surfaces?
Thirdhand smoke can't be removed by leaving windows opened, using fans or air conditioners. Here are some tips for you to eliminate the residue:
If you can still smell the residue after cleaning, you probably didn’t clean them properly! A thorough cleaning is required, as there is still some residue left on the surfaces.
Thirdhand smoke is a relatively new concept, and researchers are still studying its possible dangers. In the meantime, the only way to protect non-smokers from thirdhand smoke is to create a smoke-free environment.
A word from Doc2Us
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Disclaimer: As a service to our users and general public, Doc2Us provides health education contents. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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