Thirdhand smoke causes DNA damage
Scientists have found that even when the smoke has cleared, we still have thirdhand smoke to worry about. The residue, which clings to clothes and other surfaces long after secondhand smoke is gone, causes genetic damage in human cells, and only gets worse over time, according to a study published in Mutagenesis. Researchers found that chronic exposure is worse than acute exposure, as the noxious thirdhand smoke was found in higher concentrations and caused more DNA damage in samples exposed over a long period of time.
Researchers used two common in vitro assays to text for genotoxicity, and found that thirdhand smoke can cause both DNA strand breaks and oxidative DNA damage, which can lead to gene mutation. This type of DNA damage is associated with many kinds of disease, including cancer.
Thirdhand smoke is extremely difficult to get rid of, according to the researchers, and traditional methods of vaccuuming and cleaning are not effective. Instead they suggest changing materials, such as removing carpeting and repainting walls.
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