Last year, researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the United States found that brief exposure to third-hand smoke, which is the poisonous residue that lingers on surfaces longer after a cigarette has been put out, was tied to low body weight and immune changes in juvenile mice.
In a new study, the researchers have found that third-hand smoke also increases the risk of lung cancer - at least in mice. More specifically, the team found that exposure to third-hand smoke early in life was associated with an increased risk and severity of lung cancer in mice. Read on for the full findings as published in the journal Clinical Science.
Research has confirmed that third-hand smoke in indoor environments is widespread…
Studies have also found that usual indoor cleaning methods don’t remove third-hand smoke. Exposure to third-hand smoke can occur through inhalation, ingestion or through the skin.
Young children are most vulnerable to third-hand smoke’s harmful effects as they crawl and put objects in their mouths and are therefore likely to come into contact with contaminated surfaces.
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New study ties third-hand smoke to an increased risk of lung cancer
For the study, the researchers housed a strain of mice that’s susceptible to lung cancer
in an environment with fabric-infused third-hand-smoke. The mice were between four and seven weeks old at the start of the study. They ingested a dose of third-hand smoke comparable to the ingestion exposure of a human toddler living in a home with smokers.
Forty weeks after the last exposure, the researchers found that he mice had an increased incidence of lung cancer, larger tumours and a greater numbers of tumours compared to control mice.
Lead author Georg Matt said replacing carpets, furniture, equipment, wallpaper and drywall, drapery and curtains, and washing or vacuuming the walls, floors and ceilings are necessary to reduce the lung cancer risk associated with third-hand smoke.
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