“Third-hand” smoke—the residue that clings to walls and furniture from cigarette fumes—may cause harm to infants, researchers reported Friday. In a study published in Scientific Reports, scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said exposure to the toxic residue reportedly caused lower infant weights in mice and altered blood-cell counts affiliated with the immune system.
“Evidence is mounting that the residue lingering on indoor surfaces could be just as harmful—if not more—than second-hand smoke,” the study states. U.S. and Chinese researchers found that “small children are a particularly vulnerable population who are exposed to [third-hand smoke] toxicants through inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact.” Prior studies have found other evidence of damage, including that toxins can harm DNA in human cells in petri dishes, as well as in human sperm and mice organs. Read more at AFP.