Third-Hand Smoke Best Detected By The Nose {The 5th Sense in the News}

Curtains-Tobacco-Smell.jpgA new term has been coined to designate those remnants of smoking that are not associated with visible smoke but with the smells it leaves, "third-hand smoking". Those odors, like the cold tobacco odor, ought to signal danger because they remain toxic...

"Third-hand smoke is what one smells when a smoker gets in an elevator after going outside for a cigarette, he said, or in a hotel room where people were smoking. "Your nose isn't lying," he said. "The stuff is so toxic that your brain is telling you: 'Get away.'" (...)

Among the substances in third-hand smoke are hydrogen cyanide, used in chemical weapons; butane, which is used in lighter fluid; toluene, found in paint thinners; arsenic; lead; carbon monoxide; and even polonium-210, the highly radioactive carcinogen that was used to murder former Russian spy Alexander V. Litvinenko in 2006. Eleven of the compounds are highly carcinogenic."



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