Thursday, October 06, 2011

Health effects of passive smoking and thirdhand smoke

Environmental tobacco smoke requires
more research on health effects, experts say.
People used to be worried most about the health effects of inhaling smoke, either as a smoker or as a bystander.

But more and more research points to the growing health concern of thirdhand smoke, which describes the pollutants that persist long after the initial smoke has gone.

Thirdhand smoke exposure happens in indoor spaces where tobacco was recently or regularly used.

Most people will recognize the smell of stale tobacco smoke, and the odor persists because the toxins cling to indoor surfaces, clothing and hair, furnishings and dust.

Researchers have identified more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, including cancer-causing chemicals like arsenic, benzene, cadmium, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde and toluene.

Exposure to thirdhand smoke occurs with unintentional intake (inhalation and ingestion for example), which can happen long after smoking has ceased, the authors of a recent article in Environmental Health Perspectives warn. Children and pets may be most at risk because they are lower to the ground and often chew on toys and inhale more dust.

The researchers propose that the terms “passive smoking” or “environmental tobacco smoke” be used as a more inclusive term to describe any tobacco smoke exposure outside of active smoking, and that the health effects be studied more and separately from secondhand smoking.

Remove indoor air pollution from smoking

Smoking indoors is never a good idea, but many people live with one or more household member that smokes. Opening a window or relying on existing ventilation systems are not be enough to protect household members from harmful toxins.
Air purifiers for tobacco smoke:
AllerAir's DS models

Neither is a HEPA-only air purifier from the department store, which can only handle the dust and particles that pollute indoor environments, but won’t be effective for the chemicals and odors that affect the health and well-being of the household members.

AllerAir has designed a special line of air purifiers for tobacco and environmental smoke, which targets all of the toxins associated with tobacco smoke, including chemicals, odors and particles.

The DS models (like the 5000 DS or the 6000 DS) feature a deep-bed activated carbon filter for the removal of gaseous pollutants and odors, a HEPA filter for particles and special tar-trapping pre-filters to protect the main filters and prevent clogging.

Contact AllerAir for more information and to find the right air purifier model for your circumstances.