A new study found that concentrations of toxic chemicals lingering indoors where cigarettes have been smoked can exceed risk guidelines from the State of California. This means that non-smokers can be exposed to health risks by living in contaminated spaces.
The thirdhand smoke (THS) research group in Biosciences’ Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) Division contributed to three recently-published studies that further underscore the harms of exposure to the lingering toxic residues from tobacco smoke.
Biosciences Area researchers, in collaboration with colleagues at Nanjing Medical University in China, performed the first study to prospectively investigate the gut microbiome in relation to Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis (HAEC), a leading cause of death in Hirschsprung disease patients. They identified a microbiome signature that might predict the development of postoperative HAEC. In addition, they found that exclusive breastfeeding might reduce the risk of HAEC through modulation of the intestinal microbiome.
Berkeley Lab thirdhand smoke researchers have been awarded a new three-year grant totaling $904,744. The funding from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) will support translational studies aimed at mitigating health impacts of exposure to thirdhand smoke (THS)—the toxic residues from tobacco smoke that linger on indoor surfaces and in dust long after a cigarette has been extinguished. From the Biosciences Area, Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) Division staff scientist Bo Hang will serve as principal investigator on the studies, with senior scientist Jian-Hua Mao and staff scientist Antoine Snijders, also of BSE, as co-investigators. Collaborators on the project include staff scientist Hugo Destaillats and retiree affiliate Lara Gundel in the Energy Technologies Area (ETA) at Berkeley Lab, as well as researchers at California Consortium on Thirdhand Smoke partner institutions UC San Francisco and UC Riverside.
Cigarette smoke contains myriad compounds that are known mutagens and carcinogens, and the health risks associated with active smoking and secondhand smoke are well established. Nearly 10 years ago, researchers at Berkeley Lab identified another potentially hazardous source of tobacco exposure: “thirdhand smoke,” the toxic residues that linger on indoor surfaces and in dust long after a cigarette has been extinguished. A team led by Antoine Snijders, Jian-Hua Mao, and Bo Hang in Biosciences’ Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) Division have determined that early thirdhand smoke exposure is also associated with increased incidence and severity of lung cancer in mice.