Skip to main content

THIRD HAND SMOKING "DEAD"LY

Third-hand smoke - tobacco residue that persist in houses, apartments and hotel rooms after smokers move out - may be just as deadly as first-hand or second-hand smoke, a new study has claimed. "Do not smoke and do not allow yourself to be exposed to smoke because second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke are just as deadly as first-hand smoke," said a scientist from the University of California, Riverside who led the first animal study of the effects of third-hand smoke. While first-hand smoke refers to the smoke inhaled by a smoker and second-hand smoke to the exhaled smoke and other substances emanating from a burning cigarette that can get inhaled by others, third-hand smoke is the second-hand smoke that gets left on the surfaces of objects, ages over time and becomes progressively more toxic. "We studied, on mice, the effects of third-hand smoke on several organ systems under conditions that simulated third-hand smoke exposure of humans," said Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology who led the study. "We found significant damage occurs in the liver and lung. Wounds in these mice took longer to heal. Further, these mice displayed hyperactivity," said Martins-Green. Third-hand smoke is a potential health threat to children, spouses of smokers and workers in environments where smoking is, or has been, allowed, researchers said. Contamination of the homes of smokers by third-hand smoke is high, both on surfaces and in dust, including children's bedrooms. Re-emission of nicotine from contaminated indoor surfaces in these households can lead to nicotine exposure levels similar to that of smoking, researchers said. Third-hand smoke, which contains strong carcinogens, has been found to persist in houses, apartments and hotel rooms after smokers move out. Researchers found that the mice exposed to third-hand smoke in the lab showed alterations in multiple organ systems and excreted levels of a tobacco-specific carcinogen similar to those found in children exposed to second-hand smoke. In the liver, third-hand smoke was found to increase lipid levels and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a precursor to cirrhosis and cancer and a potential contributor to cardiovascular disease, researchers found. In the lungs, third-hand smoke was found to simulate excess collagen production and high levels of inflammatory cytokines (small proteins involved in cell signalling), suggesting propensity for fibrosis with implications for inflammation-induced diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, they said. In wounded skin, healing in mice exposed to third-hand smoke showed many characteristics of the kind of poor healing observed in human smokers who have gone through surgery. The study appears in the journal PLOS ONE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MUNSHI PREMCHAND STORIES IN COMIC FORMAT

Stories by modern Hindi and Urdu literary legend, Munshi Premchand are now available in comic format published by Amar Chitra Katha. The comic books in Hindi detailing two stories by the late literary phenomenon, is part of the publisher's contemporary classics section, which began in 2012 with stories by author Ruskin Bond. "We are launching the comics at the World Book Fair and it is our tribute to Premchand. The idea is to make his stories familiar with children," Reena Puri, Editor, Amar Chitra Katha told PTI. The stories "Buddhi Kaki" (The old Aunt) and "Do Bail" (Two Oxen) have been scripted and illustrated by Pratima Singh and Surendra Murthy. The English version of the comics translated by Nandini Nair is also set for launch within a few weeks, says Reena. The books are priced at Rs 50 each. "Buddhi Kaki" first published in 1921 is the story of an old childless widow who craves for love after she bequeaths her entir…

WORLD's FIRST UNDERWORLD TENNIS COURT IN DUBAI

Dubai, which boasts of the world's highest tennis court, may also become home to the first underwater tennis centre where spectators can watch games from below or above the sea life through a massive glass dome. Krzysztof Kotala, a Polish architect who owns a studio in Warsaw, is currently seeking investment from local players to make the ambitious project a reality. Interestingly, the proposed location for the project (arguably one of the world's lowest tennis courts) is just next door to the highest tennis court atop the Burj al Arab skyscraper in Dubai. "There is not an investor but I would like to get interest (from them) as I think it is a good idea," Kotala, 30, was quoted as saying by a local magazine. When asked why he chose Dubai for his project, Kotala said the Gulf city had a rich tradition of tennis. "This will be something original. This should be somewhere where there is the tradition of tennis. Dubai is perfect for this idea," he said. The in…