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Clearing the air after smokers doesn't reduce health risks

The invisible remnant of tobacco smoke that clings to surfaces and even dust, could still be linked to several adverse health effects, says a new study on the threat of third-hand smoke 

Third-hand smoke is a greater health threat than earlier thought, says a new study conducted by researchers at the University of California-Riverside (UCR).

The invisible remnant of tobacco smoke that clings to surfaces and even dust, has been found to be responsible for several adverse health effects.

The UCR research team who studied the effects on "several organ systems (of mice) under conditions that simulated third-hand smoke exposure of humans," concluded that several billion people are at an "under-appreciated health risk" from cigarette smoke exposure.

According to the study, third-hand smoke left on surfaces, ages over time and becomes more toxic.

The researchers also indicate that second and third-hand smoke are just as harmful as smoking itself as the remnant smoke and its accompanying carcinogens remain even after smokers move out of a house, hotel or room.

In the lab experiments, mice that were exposed to third-hand smoke excreted levels of tobacco carcinogen that were similar to those found in children exposed to second-hand smoke.

There were also alterations in several organs that hint of a greater chance of developing cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as asthma, skin problems and hyperactive behaviour.

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