You've heard of second-hand smoke, but now doctors are talking about a new phenomenon -- third hand smoke! They say it's how many of us, especially small children, are being exposed to tobacco toxins.
Researchers from MassGeneral Hospital for Children say going outside to smoke or smoking in your house, only when you're alone, doesn't fully protect anyone.
They say the contamination from tobacco smoke lingers even when a cigarette is putout.
Besides falling onto nearby surfaces, cigarette toxins can get into your hair and clothing and is passed on to others when you touch them.
Babies and small children are exposed when they crawl and play where chemicals have settled.
Pediatricians call it a very real danger since particulate matter from tobacco smoke is linked to brain function problems even at very low levels.
Further research finds the more smokers know about third-hand smoke, the more likely they are to restrict smoking in or near the home.
The researchers' findings will be published in the January issue of “Pediatrics” magazine.