Parents Who Smoke Expose Kids to Toxic Residue
By now, we all know the dangers of smoking—and the adverse effects of breathing secondhand smoke. Now, a new study shows that children exposed to secondhand smoke in the home also have high levels of toxic nicotine on their hands, offering further proof about the dangers of thirdhand smoke.
Nicotine on the hands is associated with a biomarker for systemic exposure to tobacco—salivary cotinine. For the recent study, researchers examined 25 children, average age 5.4 years, who were taken to an emergency room for treatment of an illness potentially associated with secondhand smoke exposure.
All of the children in the study had high levels of hand nicotine—an average of three times higher than a previous study involving adults exposed to secondhand smoke—and all but one had high levels of salivary cotinine. According to researchers, children whose parents smoke at home are exposed to dangerous toxins even when no one smokes around them.
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