Third-hand smoke, or the smoke that transfers into surfaces and clothes, can damage your liver

Third-hand smoke, or the smoke that transfers onto surfaces and clothes, is extremely detrimental to health. A study published in the journal Clinical Science found that third-hand smoke can damage the liver.

A team of researchers from the University of California, Riverside aimed to determine what health effects can third-hand smoke cause and how long it takes for the onset to occur. In conducting the study, the research team developed a system that closely imitated what happens when humans are exposed to third-hand smoke. Then, the team monitored and examined the effect of this exposure in terms of 24 key health biomarkers for disease, cellular damage, and brain and liver tissues.

Two months after the exposure, the team observed more molecular damage. The molecular damage got even worse at four to six months. In addition, the mice began to exhibit insulin resistance and immune system fatigue because of chronic exposure to third-hand smoke. Moreover, the mice became less social compared to non-exposed mice. Eventually, the exposed mice showed signs of addiction to cigarettes.

The harmful effects of third-hand smoke to the liver and brain are alarming. The liver is important in detoxifying the body and keeping it healthy. Therefore, when it is not functioning well, the cell damage caused by third-hand smoke and other toxins can be worse. The brain is also essential to just about every function of the body.

The dangers of third-hand smoke

Third-hand smoke can even be more dangerous than other forms of cigarette smoke. This is because it is silent and invisible. People can get it contact with items that have been contaminated with third-hand smoke without them knowing that they are being exposed. In fact, toxins from smoking indoors never go away. In addition, things that have been contaminated with third-hand smoke need to be deep-cleaned or even replaced. Third-hand smoke lingers on furniture, curtains, carpet, and other areas where a smoker stayed. Its residue also builds up over time on most surfaces it touches. It can stay there for weeks, months, or even years.

In addition to liver and brain damage, third-hand smoke may also be a reason for the increased cases of cancers, especially lung cancer. This form of cigarette smoke may also damage DNA. A study found that exposure to third-hand smoke may impair and break human DNA, which can also increase the risk of diseases.

One of the most alarming things about third-hand smoke exposure is that children are the most vulnerable to it. Children often touch objects and put their hands in their mouths, which increase their exposure to toxic chemicals. Non-smokers who live with regular smokers are also at a much greater risk for third-hand smoke exposure.

Protecting against third-hand smoke

Here are some things you can do to protect you and your family against third-hand smoke:

  • Prohibit smoking inside your home or car.
  • Prohibit smoking near you, your children, or your pets.
  • Ask anyone who watches your child or pet to follow these rules – and tell them why.
  • Do not allow anyone to use e-cigarette in your home, car, or near your child or pet as these also contain chemicals.
  • The only way to completely protect yourself and others from third-hand smoke is to create a smoke-free environment.

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