Ozone and Thirdhand Smoke: New Findings

by Colleen Fleiss on Dec 3 2020 11:57 PM

Ozone and Thirdhand Smoke: New Findings
Ozone was found to react with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis, on glass or cotton surfaces to produce new compounds.
Ozone is a component of outdoor and indoor air. The findings of the study are published in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology.

Second and third hand smoke

Smoking emits reactive chemicals that remain in the air, known as secondhand smoke, or deposit onto the surfaces known as thirdhand smoke. Thirdhand smoke lingers long after a person stops smoking.

Aaron Wylie and Jonathan Abbatt wanted to characterize the compounds formed when THC, by itself or in cannabis smoke, reacts with ozone in the air.

Study Details

The researchers coated glass and cotton cloth, to simulate windows and clothing, with a THC solution. Then, they exposed the surfaces to concentrations of ozone that could exist in indoor air.

They found that the amount of THC on the glass and cotton reduced, while the quantities of three THC oxidation products increased.

The team also used a smoking machine to deposit cannabis smoke onto cotton. Upon exposure to ozone, the same three compounds formed at roughly the same rate as observed for the THC-coated cloth.

Researchers said people could still be exposed to THC and its derivatives, whose health effects are unknown, if they, for example, lick their fingers after touching a surface contaminated by cannabis smoke.

Dangers of Thirdhand Smoke

1. Culprit in most cancer cases

2. Causes DNA damage

3. Nicotine residue interacts with air to form carcinogens

4. Children are most at risk