Now You Have to Worry About Thirdhand Smoke, Too

Study: It settles into everything, damages DNA

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 20, 2013 6:47 PM CDT

(Newser) – Smoking is bad, inhaling secondhand smoke is bad, and now the trifecta: Thirdhand smoke can mess up your DNA. Thirdhand smoke? It's the residue that lingers everywhere—in carpets, in dust, in drapes, you name it—long after a smoker has left a room, explains Science Daily. And now researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found for the first time that it causes genetic damage.

"This is the very first study to find that thirdhand smoke is mutagenic," says a study co-author. "Some of the chemical compounds in thirdhand smoke are among the most potent carcinogens there are." It gets worse with this double-whammy, one that poses an especially serious risk for kids: Thirdhand smoke appears to get more dangerous the longer it sits, and it's virtually impossible to eliminate through normal cleaning and vacumming. If you move into a home used by a smoker, another of the researchers suggests replacing the carpets and busting out the paint.

  (Shutterstock)
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