***Third-hand smoke!***

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
***Third-hand smoke!***
Thu, 01-15-2009 - 10:54am

Firsthand smoke. You know what that is. Secondhand smoke? Got it. But thirdhand smoke?

You may not have heard the term until now--and it hardly existed until very recently--but so-called thirdhand smoke has made headlines this week, thanks to a new study that sheds light on a whole new set of dangers related to cigarette smoking. Thirdhand smoke refers to toxins that stick around on smokers' bodies--in their hair and on their clothes--even after the cigarette is extinguished. These toxins can also collect on furniture, floors and any other nearby surfaces--which means that the littlest members of the household come in direct contact with them.

Yikes. And... yuck.

Not like you needed reminding, but the researchers name a whole list of dangerous chemicals found in cigarette smoke, including things that you wouldn't feel safe putting in your car engine, never mind your (or your baby's) body. They include butane, ammonia, toluene (a chemical found in paint thinners), arsenic and lead. In short, cigarette smoke is toxic--no matter which hand you're talking about.

Learn more from MassGeneral Hospital for Children, whose researchers conducted the study. It appears in the January issue of Pediatrics.

Laura Motta
Producer, Momtourage

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