Thirdhand smoke continues to harm health even hours after smoking ends, reveals a new research.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) looked at levels of more than 50 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and airborne particles for 18 hours after smoking had taken place.
Lead author Hugo Destaillats said that in the U.S., the home is now where nonsmokers are most exposed to second and third hand smoke and the goal of their study is to provide information supporting effective protective measures in the home.
Destaillats added that many smokers know secondhand smoke is harmful, so they don't smoke when their kids are present, but if, for example, they stop smoking at 2 p.m. and the kids come home at 4 p.m., their work shows that up to 60 percent of the harm from inhaling thirdhand smoke remains.
The study found that the total integrated harm rises sharply in the first five hours after a cigarette has been smoked, continues to rise for another five hours, and doesn't start to level off until after 10 hours.
The study is published online in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.