Third-Hand Smoke Can Be Deadly For Your Children

It is obvious that smoking is not good for you, and that we don’t ever want our kids smoking.

Just the same, we don’t want people smoking around our children because the smoke is widely known to be toxic.

If you are a non-smoker, you almost feel like you’re choking around cigarettes; the effect is much more severe for a child.

Exposure to second-hand smoke has known warnings such as “more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to the Center For Disease and Control Prevention.

The CDC reported:

Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.”

Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Researchand Education at the University of California, San Francisco says,

The level of toxicity in cigarette smoke is just astronomical when compared to other environmental toxins [such as particles found in automobile exhaust]”, according to Scientific America.

The alarming fact is that there is another dangerous way these chemicals and carcinogens can wreak havoc in our little ones, and it’s called third-hand smoke.

Third-hand smoke and its dangers as explained by CafeMom reads:

Thirdhand smoke isn’t actually smoke at all — it’s the residue from cigarette smoke that sticks to clothing, walls, furniture, and other items — but it contains many of the the same harmful chemicals present in mainstream and secondhand smoke, and if your infants or young children ever spend time around a smoker, they could be particularly vulnerable.”

A study was done in Scientific Reports by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,and scientists contributed from UC San Francisco and Nanjing Medical University, to find the effects of third-hand smoke on children, according to CafeMom.

Seemingly, research on third-hand smoke is unchartered territory prior to a couple popular studies newly forging their way into the scientific arena.

With that being said, preliminary results show catastrophic implications for children being exposed to third-hand smoke, which many thought to be an innocuous concoction.

CafeMom had a unique interview with Bo Hang, a Berkeley Lab staff scientist and lead study author, who shed light on the findings:

First, exposure to thirdhand smoke from only three weeks after birth until weaning caused significantly lower infant weights in mice and altered blood-cell counts associated with the immune system and allergic reactions in both infant and adult mice. “The latter effects were persistent for many weeks after the exposure ceased,” said Hang.”

The Surgeon General warns about lead in cigarettes, and how it can diminish IQ, even in minuscule amounts.

Enemies of our children’s health are attacking in epic proportions, from the westernized diet of fast food and processed goods to the environmental toxins from factories and cars.

We have enough to worry about as mothers that another individuals smoking habits shouldn’t be one of them.

Jonathan Winickoff, a pediatrician at the Dana–Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston and author of a study on the new phenomenon published in the Journal of Pediatrics, tells Scientific America what chemical he finds to be the worst in cigarettes:

I would say cyanide, which is used in chemical weapons. It actually interferes with the release of oxygen to tissues. It competitively binds to hemoglobin [meaning it competes with oxygen for binding sites on the blood’s oxygen-carrying molecule, hemoglobin]. Basically people with cyanide poison turn blue…. [And] arsenic, that is a poison used to kill mammals. We [used to] use it to kill rats. And there it is in cigarette smoke.”

Children are in a position to have heightened exposure to toxins from third-hand smoke because of their size and habits. They are more likely to crawl around on the floor, and more likely to reach their hand to their mouth.

The respiratory rate and proximity to the floor lead children to ingest twice the amount of dust particles than adults do, Winickoff indicated.

This process could be the reason tobacco toxin exposure is seen in rats to be the leading cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to Scientific America.

It is very important to protect children from these harmful chemicals. Smokers should wash their whole body and change their clothes into freshly laundered ones before touching a baby.

If a smoker has been around your home, you can wipe down surfaces, vacuum, and dust to reduce exposure, although it is difficult to eliminate the risk altogether.

California has already passed a bill that bans smoking in and around private daycare centers.

Additional research may produce enough empirical evidence to ignite policy change across the nation regarding cigarette exposure to children.

Please let us know in the comments section if your child has experienced any negative symptoms from third-hand smoke, or how you approached a smoker who is close to you about the issue.


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