Third-Hand Smoke Outlawed in Day Care Centers

Residual chemicals can lead to Cancer

photo courtesy of www.mrisblog.com

photo courtesy of www.mrisblog.com

The California Assembly approved a bill that would ban smoking inside home day care centers even after the children have left, due to the recent discovery of “third-hand” smoking risks to non-smokers, especially children according to www.sacramento.cbslocal.com

The chamber passed the measure by Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, on a 55-8 vote, with some Republican lawmakers opposed. He said, “Exposure to second- and third-hand smoke is a real danger to the health of these young, developing individuals,” according to www.sacramento.cbslocal.com.

Third-hand smoke is generally considered to be residual nicotine and other chemicals left on a variety of indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. This residue is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix. This toxic mix of third-hand smoke contains cancer-causing substances, posing a potential health hazard to nonsmokers who are exposed to it, especially children according to www.mayoclinic.org.

Terms like first-hand, second-hand, and third-hand smoke are used to describe the effects of smokers and the others around them. The first, and most obvious, is the smoke that smokers inhale into their lungs. This smoke contains the highest levels of cancer-causing toxins, but it can also cause other health issues like deterioration of the gums and teeth, or decreasing your sense of smell and taste, among many others. This smoke is extremely dangerous to the individual who is smoking and dangerous to others once the smoker exhales it.

Secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke from a burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled by a smoker. Also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), it can be recognized easily by its distinctive odor. Over 4,000 different chemicals have been identified in ETS, and at least 43 of these chemicals can cause cancer.

Finally, “third-hand smoke” describes the remaining smoke particles that are deposited onto surrounding surfaces like clothing, furniture, and carpeting. Research has shown that this type of residue is particularly harmful to children, because they are often crawling on, playing with, or touching contaminated surfaces according to www.entnet.org.

Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is about one in five deaths. More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States during its history. Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in men and women. More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer. About 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are caused by smoking. Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women. The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in men and women in the United States according to www.cdc.gov.