Thirdhand smoke now found detrimental to health

Thirdhand smoke now found detrimental to health

CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE from GEN

Exposure to thirdhand smoke leads to biological effects on weight and cell development that could be damaging to one’s health, according to new research led by investigators at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

The scientists found that newborn mice housed with smoke-treated cloths for 3 weeks weighed significantly less than mice in a control group. Moreover, newborn and adult mice exposed to thirdhand smoke led to persistent changes in blood cell counts associated with the immune system for both newborn and adult mice. The blood cell count changes are associated with inflammatory and allergic reactions upon exposure to thirdhand smoke, the researchers said.

Berkeley Lab researchers from the Biological Systems and Engineering Division and the Energy Technologies Area (ETA) teamed up with scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and Nanjing Medical University for the study. The findings (“Early Exposure to Thirdhand Cigarette Smoke Affects Body Mass and the Development of Immunity in Mice”) published in Scientific Reports, suggest that the dangers associated with smoking continue long after the cigarette is snuffed out.

“We suspected that the young are most vulnerable because of their immature immune systems, but we didn’t have a lot of hard evidence to show that before,” said study lead author Bo Hang, M.D., Ph.D., a Berkeley Lab staff scientist who previously found that thirdhand smoke could lead to genetic mutations in human cells. “In this case, we found that thirdhand smoke appeared to inhibit weight gain in neonatal mice, but not in the young adults.”

Notably, the weight effect was temporary. Weeks after smoke exposure stopped, the mice began catching up with their nonexposed peers in weight.

The researchers noted that human babies and toddlers are at greater risk because they come into contact with contaminated surfaces while crawling or teething during a critical window of immune system development.

While the harmful effects of active and secondhand smoking have been well-established by decades of extensive studies, research into thirdhand smoke is still in its nascent stages. But evidence is mounting that the residue lingering on indoor surfaces could be just as harmful, if not more, than secondhand smoke.

Red flags were raised in 2010 when Berkeley Lab studies led by researchers in ETA’s Indoor Environment Group found that nicotine can react with ozone and nitrous acid in the air to create ultrafine organic aerosols and cancer-causing compounds. Subsequent studies led by Dr. Hang, Jian-Hua Mao, Ph.D., and Altaf Sarker, Ph.D., at Berkeley Lab found that thirdhand smoke led to genetic instability in human and mouse cell lines and in mouse models.

The new study goes further by characterizing the biological effects of exposure to thirdhand smoke, an environment created by placing 5-cm2 pieces of smoke-contaminated cotton cloth in the cages with the mice. The researchers focused on changes to body weight and the hematopoietic system after 3 weeks of exposure for two age groups of mice: birth to 3 weeks (neonatal) and 12 to 15 weeks (young adult). They were compared to a control group of mice that were not exposed to smoke.

While the effects on weight were only seen in the neonatal mice, changes in blood cell populations were evident in both age groups. In general, there were lower levels of platelets and specific types of white blood cells in the smoke-exposed mice. For example, neonatal mice exposed to thirdhand smoke had higher levels of eosinophils, female adults had higher levels of neutrophils, male adults had higher levels of basophils, and all mice had higher levels of B cells.

“Those are all types of white blood cells associated with inflammation and allergic reactions,” said Dr. Mao, the current study’s corresponding author. “And the effects on blood cell count persisted even after exposure ended. Changes remained at least 14 weeks after exposure ended for the neonatal group, and two weeks after it ended for the adults.”

The researchers pointed out that they did not study whether the observed biological changes led to specific diseases or other health outcomes, but that other studies suggest links to adverse health effects.

“Thirdhand smoke is an underappreciated risk factor in health,” said study co-author Antoine Snijders, Ph.D. “It’s clear that more and bigger studies are needed, particularly in humans, so we can support policy decisions on thirdhand smoke.”

×

Upcoming Events

Attending any of these upcoming events? Have other events to share? Let us know! Email us at NNN@ITCMI.ORG to share your event information or to get on our list serve for event updates.

 

Colorectal Cancer Screening in American Indian & Alaska Native Communities - Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 2 p.m. EST - NCCRT Webinar.  Explore CRC screening in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities.  This webinar will provide a brief overview of the NCCRT and ACS's April 2016 summit on CRC and AI/AN communities to describe ACS's recent grants to increase screening for AI/AN-serving primary care clinics.  We will also hear from two Ai/An-serving organizations that are implementing innovative strategies to increase CRC screening in the communities they serve.  Speakers will include:  Laura Makaroff of ACS, Jessica Deaton of the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, and Richard Mousseau of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board.  REGISTER HERE

WEBINAR - 2018 Clinical Scholar Applicants - A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program - Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 3:30 p.m. EDT - Do these statements apply to you?:  Are you a health care professional working with kids, adults, or families in a community in the U.S. or U.S. Territories? | Are you motivated to improve the health of those most vulnerable in your community? | Do you have a desire to further develop your leadership skills? | If yes, REGISTER HERE.

Tobacco Listening Session - Kalamazoo, Michigan - LEARN MORE

Community Foods Projects Competitive Grant Program, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Applications due December 4, 2017 For more information, CLICK HERE

National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests applications for the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program for fiscal year 2018. The estimated total program funding in fiscal year 2018 is approximately $8,640,000. The Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program funds two types of grants, Community Food Projects and Planning Projects. The primary goals of the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program are to:

·         Meet the food needs of low-income individuals through food distribution, community outreach to assist in participation in Federally assisted nutrition programs, or improving access to food as part of a comprehensive service;

·         Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities;

·         Promote comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues; and

·         Meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to: Equipment necessary for the efficient operation of a project; Planning for long-term solutions; or The creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.

Eligible applicants include public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, including gleaners.

A webinar will be held on Monday October 16, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time for potential applicants. The Adobe Connect link is: http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/cfp2018/.

Full details can be found at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=297333

CDC FUNDING OPPORTUNITY - DEADLINE:  December 11, 2017 - "Cooperative Agreement for Emergency Response:  Public Health Crisis Response" - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a notice of funding opportunity:  Cooperative Agreement for Emergency Response:  Public Health Crisis Response.  The purpose of this opportunity is to "enhance the nation's ability to rapidly respond to public health emergencies, which may include infectious disease outbreaks, pandemics, and other public health emergencies that exceed the capacity of jurisdictional public health resources."  Since initial funding and response can impact health outcomes after an emergency, this award opportunity allows applicants to be pre-approved so they can be funded quickly after an emergency occurs, allowing applicants to better prepare for emergency plans now.  CDC may also fund some pre-award costs.  Tribal governments may apply if they meet eligibility requirements and serve at least 50,000 people through their public health infrastructures.  LEARN MORE HERE.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY - Public Health Institute is accepting applications for the National Leadership Academy for the Public's Health from teams in the Appalachian and Mid-regions of the United States.  "For communities that are engaged in cross-sector work to improve the public health, this is an opportunity to boost your team's capacity and skills through a community leadership process."  Deadline January 12, 2018 - LEARN MORE

Funding Opportunity - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - Policies for Action:  Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health - HERE