Recent research has proven that not only first and second-hand smoke has side effects which trigger health issues; third effect smoke is also responsible for damage to the liver and other organs. Third-hand smoke is understood as the amount of residues of cigarette smoke left behind on carpets, clothing, furniture and other places. The toxins left behind by the cigarette smoke accumulate on surfaces and clothes. The toxins are resistant to industrial cleaners.
The study on mice
Researchers led by Manuela Martins-green from the University of California have investigated the health risks on mice of third-hand smoke. The researchers from Riverside have compared levels of smoke found in curtains, upholstery, and carpets with smoke found by the US Environmental Protection Agency in smokers’ houses. The subjects of the study were mice which were exposed to segments from fabrics mentioned. They were exposed for maximum six months and blood and liver samples were collected several times in different intervals.
The results collected after one month indicated that the mice experienced 50% increase of inflammatory molecules into their blood and liver compared to those from the control group.
After two months exposed, the mice have increased cell damage in their livers and brains. Four months since exposure and the mice have their cortisol levels increased by 45%. High levels of cortisol are also linked with a weaker immune system and weight gaining.
Researchers also found that after four months the mice exposed has a 30% rise in their fasting blood glucose and insulin levels. Both levels determine an increased risk of diabetes.
The results concluded that third-hand smoke is as dangerous as first and second-hand smoke, therefore it is not only enough to smoke in the absence of children or outdoor.