Monday, January 05, 2009

It would be cool to have a third hand

A New Cigarette Hazard: ‘Third-Hand Smoke’

Parents who smoke often open a window or turn on a fan to clear the air for their children, but experts now have identified a related threat to children’s health that isn’t as easy to get rid of: third-hand smoke.

That’s the term being used to describe the invisible yet toxic brew of gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, not to mention cushions and carpeting, that lingers long after second-hand smoke has cleared from a room. The residue includes heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive materials that young children can get on their hands and ingest, especially if they’re crawling or playing on the floor.
Among the substances in third-hand smoke are hydrogen cyanide, used in chemical weapons; butane, which is used in lighter fluid; toluene, found in paint thinners; arsenic; lead; carbon monoxide; and even polonium-210, the highly radioactive carcinogen that was used to murder former Russian spy Alexander V. Litvinenko in 2006. Eleven of the compounds are highly carcinogenic.

I always found it ironic that most of the respiratory therapists smoke and then go around giving neb treatments.

I remember when my daughter was in the NICU for 11 days you could pick out the nurses that smoked. How ironic they make a big deal about keeping the NICU sterile and making the parents do a 5 minute hand scrub and gown up before visiting their kids but some of the RN's absolutely reek of smoke.

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