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Study measures thirdhand smoke left in residential apartments when smoker moves out (San Diego State University)

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The October 30, 2010 issue of Tobacco Control Journal published the San Diego State University study , “When smokers move out and non-smokers move in:residential thirdhand smoke pollution and exposure”. The researchers concluded:

“THS in a home lingers for more than 2 months, after the smokers move out.” THS accumulates in smokers’ homes and persists when smokers move out even after homes remain vacant for 2 months and are cleaned and prepared for new residents. When non-smokers move into homes formerly occupied by smokers, they encounter indoor environments with THS polluted surfaces and dust. Results suggest that non-smokers living in former smoker homes are exposed to THS in dust and on surfaces. Researchers visited homes of 100 smokers and 50 non-smokers, both before and after the residents moved out. Nicotine measurements were take on residents’ fingers, in dust and the air, and on surfaces, and cotinine levels were measured from children’s urine samples. New nonsmoking residents who moved into these homes were recruited and similarly tested, along with the dust, air and surfaces. “Finger nicotine levels among non-smokers living in former smoker homes were significantly correlated with dust and surface nicotine and urine cotinine.”