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June 1, 2023 10:28 am

Exposure to third hand smoke may trigger skin diseases, study finds

Los Angeles, November 9

Acute exposure to thirdhand smoke may increase the risk of skin diseases such as contact dermatitis and psoriasis, according to a small study.

Thirdhand smoke (THS) comprises the residual pollutants from tobacco smoke that remain on surfaces and in dust after tobacco has been smoked. It can remain on indoor surfaces indefinitely, causing potentially harmful exposure to both smokers and non-smokers.

Acute exposure of the skin to thirdhand smoke elevates biomarkers associated with the initiation of skin diseases. Biomarkers are natural substances that indicate a biological state, most commonly a disease.

The study, published in eBioMedicine, claims to be the first one to be performed on humans exposed dermally to THS.

We found that exposure of human skin to THS initiates mechanisms of inflammatory skin disease, and elevates urinary biomarkers of oxidative harm, which could lead to other diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and atherosclerosis,” said researcher Shane Sakamaki-Ching from University of California.

The research, which took place at UC San Francisco, involved the participation of 10 healthy, non-smokers who were 22 to 45 years old.

For three hours, each participant wore clothing infused with THS and either walked or ran on a treadmill for at least 15 minutes each hour to induce perspiration and increase uptake of THS through the skin.

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