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.

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"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. (Read more thirdhand smoke stories.)

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