If anyone needs another reason to stop smoking, here it is: Researchers are turning their attention to the effects of “thirdhand smoke,” the layer of icky residue that lingers on clothes and in living spaces after cigarettes and other tobacco delivery devices are snubbed out. Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory now have found a potential health risk associated with thirdhand smoke and a common household pollutant. —KA
San Jose Mercury News:
The scientists, however, are the first to find that nitrous acid, an indoor air pollutant created by gas appliances, vehicle engines and tobacco smoke, reacts with nicotine found on surfaces.
“We want to make people aware that there’s a potential hazard from thirdhand smoke that has not been recognized before,” said Lara Gundel, one of the authors of the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“This is a new finding that a common pollutant can react with nicotine to form carcinogens right in our own homes,” said Gundel, who works in the lab’s Indoor Environment Department.