Research could block “third-hand smoke”

Research could block “third-hand smoke”

Textile testing and certification body the Hohenstein Institute is working to develop textile coatings to neutralise the toxins from the cigarette smoke after a study highlighted the risks of nicotine transfer from clothing.

Their findings will be especially useful for baby-friendly clothing that is worn next to the skin, they say.

Researchers say that “third-hand smoke” – cigarette smoke which is deposited on surfaces, cushions, carpets, curtains or clothing – contains concentrations of toxic substances that are far higher than in smoky air. These toxic particles can also be released again, for example by contact with the skin.

Scientists at Hohenstein’s Institute for Hygiene and Biotechnology (IHB) tracked the passage of nicotine from a T-shirt into cell culture model of baby skin – and showed for the first time that the neurotoxin nicotine penetrates through the skin into deeper tissue layers.

Further experiments found that the results were the same for adults.

Taking their research to the next level, it was also discovered that the nicotine and other toxins “caused massive damage” to skin and nerve cells once they had penetrated the body.