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Thirdhand smoke causes DNA damage


Narrator: This is Science Today. For the first time, a study led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists has confirmed that thirdhand smoke, which is the nicotine residue that sticks to surfaces after secondhand smoke clears, causes DNA damage. Staff scientist Lara Gundel and her team are part of a research consortium funded by the University of California's Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program.

Gundel: We have a very ambitious agenda that includes not only chemistry and how thirdhand smoke forms and how it reacts, but also affects human exposure and in looking for markers of exposure. It's very, very important to understand the impact of thirdhand smoke in a way that would affect policy. So that kind of effort is also included in our research consortium.

Narrator: Their study found that chronic exposure to thirdhand smoke causes more DNA damage than samples exposed to acute exposure, suggesting that the residue becomes more harmful over time. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.