Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California have proven for the first time that thirdhand smoke produces significant damage to human DNA.
A toxic residue from cigarette smoke that adheres to practically every surface – including hair, skin, clothing, carpeting, furniture and paint, this problematic remnant may become increasingly dangerous over time. Even more alarming, cleaning the noxious substance from physical environments is virtually impossible.
Thirdhand smoke: New hazards uncovered
“This is the very first study to find that thirdhand smoke is mutagenic,” said researcher and study co-author Lara Gundel. “Tobacco-specific nitrosamines, some of the chemical compounds in thirdhand smoke, are among the most potent carcinogens there are. They stay on surfaces, and when those surfaces are clothing or carpets, the danger to children is especially serious.”
Published in the journal Mutagenesis, the study has clearly shown the toxicity of thirdhand smoke on human DNA, whereas previously the dangers were not well understood. According to the laboratory, prior research discovered:
… that residual nicotine can react with ozone and nitrous acid – both common indoor air pollutants – to form hazardous agents. When nicotine in thirdhand smoke reacts with nitrous acid it undergoes a chemical transformation and forms carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines, such as NNA, NNK and NNN. Nicotine can react with ozone to form ultrafine particles, which can carry harmful chemicals and pass through human tissue. Humans can be exposed to thirdhand smoke through inhalation, ingestion or skin contact.
Now the new research demonstrates the increasingly harmful effects on cellular DNA. The scientists found higher levels of damage in chronic samples compared to acute exposure, leading the team to believe “… the materials could be getting more toxic with time.”
To make matters worse, thirdhand smoke is exceedingly difficult to remove. Studies have shown it can still be found in the dust and surfaces of homes over two months after the smokers have vacated. Vacuuming, ventilation and wiping have little effect on contamination – the only solution is to completely change out the carpet and repaint.
Sources for this article include:
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Please note: this article was first published on Natural News.