Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Report: Third-hand Smoke Dangerous for Children

It’s a fairly new buzzword, and it’s making waves in and outside the indoor air quality (IAQ) industry. It’s called ‘third-hand smoke’. The term refers to the lingering toxic particles that remain on clothing, hair, furniture and various other surfaces long after a cigarette has been stubbed out. New research shows that these particles can be especially dangerous to babies and children, who can inhale these lingering poisons.

Most smokers and non-smokers alike have heard of the dangers of first- and second-hand smoke. The indoor air quality industry answers a large demand from both smokers (who don’t want to bother non-smokers) and non-smokers (who are bothered by smokers).

Certainly AllerAir doesn’t put itself in the position of condemning or condoning smoking, whether indoors or outdoors, but we will be the first to express the negative effects smoking has on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

According to Health Canada, Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is a combination of exhaled smoke and the smoke produced by an idling cigarette, cigar or pipe. It consists of solid particles, liquids and gases.

Over 4,000 different chemical compounds have been identified in ETS, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, arsenic, dioxins and furans. More than 50 of these substances are known carcinogens. Others are known or suspected mutagens, capable of changing the genetic structure of cells.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently declared ETS to be a class-A-carcinogen, since many of its components are also found in industrial effluents where they are treated as hazardous waste.

According to the EPA, children's exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for:

1. Increases in the number of asthma attacks and severity of symptoms in 200,000 to 1,000,000 children with asthma
2. Between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (for children under 18 months of age)
3. Respiratory tract infections resulting in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each year

We feel the best way to avoid the dangers associated with first, second and third-hand smoke is to stop smoking altogether. For those who do smoke, or who are surrounded by smokers, AllerAir has a full line of air purifiers designed specifically to tackle the dangerous properties of smoke.

Available in our 5000 and 6000 series, our smokers’ units are equipped with:
· Deep (“DS”) or extra-deep (“DX S”) carbon beds to adsorb the dangerous particles, chemicals and odors associated with cigarettes, cigars and other alternative smoking products
· Unique tar-trapping filters to collect the sticky tar droplets associated with cigarettes, which clog conventional air cleaners
· Between 24 lbs. and 36 lbs. pounds of activated carbon

For more information on air purification systems for smoking applications, contact 888.852.8247 to speak to one of AllerAir's Indoor Air Quality Experts, or visit and click on Tobacco Smoke.

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