What Is Thirdhand Smoke?
Have you ever been in a line to pay your bill and noticed smoking nearby but there was no smoking near?
Perhaps you entered an area that was suffused with the distinct scent of stale cigarettes and you could not tell there was no smoke?
Also, if you have a smoker in your home or vehicle, what about the yellow gunk that you wash off your windows?
These are just a few examples of what’s commonly referred to as THS which is a dangerous mixture of gases and tiny particles that stay on the surface for several hours after smoking a cigarette and then are spread on any surface they come in contact with.
From hair to air and clothing bedding, furniture tables, carpets, and toys, everything is safe from contamination when it’s in space or in a closed space (like the vehicle) where cigarettes were used to smoke.
The Differences Between First, Second, and Thirdhand Smoke
What is the distinction between secondhand smoke, firsthand smoke, or thirdhand?
Firsthand smoke is the smoke from a cigarette that smokers draw into the lungs of a smoker by inhaling the smoke of open cigarettes.
Secondhand smoke is a mixture of exhaled smoke from firsthand cigarettes and the smoke that is blown through the air at the smoking smokeless cigarette.
Thirdhand smoke is divided into three distinct components:
Small particles and gasses that remain floating for hours within the air in rooms or other enclosed areas (aged Secondhand Smoke).
Small pieces of solid matter that sink and adhere to the surface of an enclosed space.
Toxins found on floors and air mix with other common indoor pollutants, and create new chemical compounds, or more hazardous forms of chemicals in the process.
Thirdhand Smoke in the Air
Scientists have found that secondhand smoke in the air inside an enclosed space alters with time in surprising ways.1
Although the majority of particulates found in THS disappear to the surface in less than about 20 min, some material remains within the atmosphere and maybe breathed into the lungs.
In addition, the concentrations of certain chemicals present in secondhand smoke may rise for some time when smoke changes to THS and makes breathing air inside a room more hazardous.
Three harmful chemical compounds of this kind that have been discovered are methacrolein and acrolein and methacrolein, and acrylonitrile. These two chemicals are both eye and respiratory irritations, and the last is a highly toxic carcinogenic compound.
Thirdhand Smoke on Surfaces
Nicotine and other toxins derived from cigarettes cover everything it comes into contact with. In addition, is that some of these substances are transformed when they come in contact with other commonly found indoor pollutants. For example, as nicotine reacts to nitrous acid on surfaces in indoor and surfaces, it produces TSNAs and TSNAs, which are extremely carcinogenic chemicals.
Chemicals generated by THS are also present in the air for a considerable period. The research has revealed that the rooms where cigarettes were used, retain THS in the form of dust and surfaces long after smoking ceased.2 Even following cleaning, repainting, and cleaning.
Thirdhand Smoke in Chemical Fumes
Researchers have discovered that certain THS contaminants deposited on surfaces may be off-gas, meaning that chemical gases release back into the air by the solid particles contained in the residue.3
Researchers have discovered that when ozone reacts with nicotine residues within the atmosphere and surfaces turns into ultra-fine particles which can be breathed into the lungs.4 These particles could be difficult to eliminate and may cause further breathing problems for asthma sufferers.
Thirdhand Smoke Risks for Children
the chemical impureness that collects on surfaces caused by the gasses and tiny particles found in cigarettes isn’t a good thing for anyone to get exposed, however, it’s most dangerous to children who are just starting. They are more likely to consume these invisible poisons when they touch flooring, furniture, and toys because they place fingernails (and toys, too) in their mouths regularly.
It’s important to remember it is important to note that THS within the air poses a higher risk for infants as well as young children because their breathing rate is faster.5 This means they take in more toxins over similar amounts of time than someone older and has slower breathing rates.
We’ve known for quite a long time that smoking cigarettes are a dangerous and harmful breath. It is now known that secondhand smoke persists in the air, settles, and can even change into dangerous substances known by the name of third-hand smoke.
It is crucial for your health as well as your loved ones to stay away from indoor spaces where smoking is permitted. If there are smokers in your family, make sure you set the bar for smoking outside.
Researchers have discovered more than 7,000 chemical compounds in smoke from cigarettes, including at least 250 toxic gasses, at most 70 carcinogens, as well as several heavy poisonous metals.