Thursday, February 11, 2010

Emerging Issue: Third-Hand Smoke

Third-hand smoke is an emerging area of scientific inquiry. Following my return from Lake Tahoe, at the Clearing the Air Institute, I was all fired up about third-hand smoke issues. While the science is still emerging, I think at least anecdotally people believe the the residue left behind from smoking is smelly. For example when a smoker moves out of their home Realtors often recommend painting or cleaning surfaces.  That smell that is left behind contains toxic chemicals which off-gas for long periods of time. While the cancer risk is unknown it is clear that if someone is smoking in an enclosed space there will be toxic chemicals from that smoking left behind. 

As a result of this emerging research people have taken steps like have a smoke-free home policy or moving into an multi-unit housing development that is 100% smoke-free in all its units. Other people don't allow smoking in their vehicles. 

What are readers doing about this issue?
Have you been educating others about this issue as well?

My sister, who recently had a baby said that no one who was recently smoking could hold the baby or be near the baby given the smoke residue on their clothes. Great idea and its keeping my nephew safe! 

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