By Kim Stagliano
I don't condone smoking. I don't smoke. I wouldn't let you smoke near my kids. But this kind of article makes smoke come out of my ears.
First it was organic baby formula (demon sugar!) and now the mere touch of your nicotine stained hands on the davenport (that's a really outdated word for a couch, by the way) threatens your child's health. Yes, third hand smoke is dangerous, according to the AAP. Why don't they just publish a study that concludes, "We're doomed. But don't worry. Soon we'll have a shot for that."?
Every surface a child touches today has been treated with stain resistant formulas, coated in lead paint from China, covered with flame retardants or has an "antibacterial surface" made from God only knows what chemicals. But now we have to scream at Uncle Bob who puffed a Marlboro in the driveway, blew the smoke over to the neighbor's yard, tamped out the cig and deposited the butt into his car and then came into the house and sat down for endangering our children? Smokers are an easy scapegoat, aren't they?
Reported in Science Daily:
...Small children are especially susceptible to third-hand smoke exposure because they can inhale near, crawl and play on, or touch and mouth contaminated surfaces. Third-hand smoke can remain indoors even long after the smoking has stopped. Similar to low-level lead exposure, low levels of tobacco particulates have been associated with cognitive deficits among children, and the higher the exposure level, the lower the reading score. These findings underscore the possibility that even extremely low levels of these compounds may be neurotoxic and, according to the researchers, justify restricting all smoking in indoor areas inhabited by children.
"The dangers of third-hand smoke are very real," says Winickoff, who is a professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Richmond Center. "Our goal was to find out if people who were aware of these harmful effects were less likely to smoke inside of their home."
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.