THIRD hand smoke – We all know what second hand smoke is (smoke that a non-smoker inhales while in a smoke-filled room), but what is third hand smoke and is it dangerous? It turns out that this is the yellow nicotine residue that clings to surfaces after smokers have been in a room and YES, it is VERY dangerous!
This reacts with the common indoor air pollutant nitrous acid to form dangerous carcinogens. PhysOrg.com quotes chemist Hugo Destaillats as saying, “The burning of tobacco releases nicotine in the form of a vapor that adsorbs strongly onto indoor surfaces, such as walls, floors, carpeting, drapes and furniture. Nicotine can persist on those materials for days, weeks and even months. Our study shows that when this residual nicotine reacts with ambient nitrous acid it forms carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines or TSNAs. TSNAs are among the most broadly acting and potent carcinogens present in unburned tobacco and tobacco smoke.”
You can get all the negative reactions to smoking, including cancer and heart disease, just from touching or being in the presence of TSNAs. This includes sitting in places where smokers have been, since the upholstery, rugs and curtains have absorbed them (which is why it’s a good idea for a non-smoking traveler to request a smoke free hotel room). It can also include wearing clothes that a smoker has worn or hanging your coat in a closet where it will rub up against a smoker’s coat.
Cars are also a problem: Since most vehicle engines emit some nitrous acid that can infiltrate the passenger compartments, surfaces can be coated with TSNAs, including the seats and the glove compartment, so you should also ask for a smoke-free rental car when you travel to Nashville during the last weekend in June for the Dreamland Festival. If you missed the 2009 festival (or want to hear the extraordinary presentations again), here’s your chance, and we have special discounts for subscribers and 2009 festival attendees, who get $12.99 off the discounted price! Only one coupon per order, but it covers all sets in the order. Subscribers, your coupon is in the subscriber section. Festival attendees, you received yours by email.
And if you’re stuck in traffic on the way to the airport, catch up on your radio listening. Regular unknowncountry.com. listeners only have access to a month of shows, but subscribers can listen, and re-listen, for an entire year, as well as download shows to an MP3 disc so you can listen in your car and in other places away from your computer. You get all this for less than $4 per month. So what are you waiting for? Subscribe today!
Art credit: Dreamstime.com
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