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Babies Could Be exposed to Third Hand Smoke If Parents Are Smokers

by Medindia Content Team on August 9, 2006 at 1:16 AM
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Babies Could Be exposed to Third Hand Smoke If Parents Are Smokers

A new research done in the US has shown that babies whose parents smoke are exposed to 'third hand smoke' even by simply touching furniture and other objects in the home.

The researchers had explained that the babies might take in nicotine and other chemicals from cigarettes even as they hug their parents even though they never light a cigarette next to them.

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George Matt, a professor at San Diego State University, explained that they found that almost 90% of the particles and chemicals (nicotine) from the cigarettes stick to the walls, clothes, hair, and skin, and the researchers also found that these could get ingested, absorbed or inhaled through the skin of the infant or non-smoker.

The researchers conducted heir study on 49 babies under 13-months-old, and Prof Matt found nicotine in the air and dust throughout the homes of the smokers. They explained that this was found even though the parents had only smoked outside. 'Cotinine' that is a by-product of nicotine was found in the urine of the babies and in the hair shafts by the researchers. They explained that this level found in the babies whose parents had only smoked outside was still 7 times higher than in children whose parents did not smoke at all.
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The researchers did however conclude that they are not yet aware of the amount of risk this third and smoke would probably cause, The researchers explained that though that they did have extensive evidence regarding the damage that second hand smoke would cause, they know relatively little about the potential risks of third hand exposure.

Brett Singer, a scientist at California's Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, said "The million-dollar question is: How dangerous is this? We can't say for sure this is a health hazard." He was in agreement with he doctors stating that the children should be studied, for ideally 10-15 yrs to see if the levels of the residue smoke worsens asthma or cause any harm in the development of he child's lung.

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