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Raising children in a smoke-free home isn’t enough to keep them away from cancer-causing toxins. “Third hand” tobacco smoke may be in your home, hiding in plain sight, according a recent study.

Researchers behind a York University study published in the journal Environmental International found that carcinogens from tobacco smoke can enter the home from outside (clothing, shoes, etc) and settle on surfaces and in dust, what’s now being called third hand smoke, and the long-term effects are especially dangerous for children between the ages of one and six.

“‘The risks of tobacco exposure do not end when a cigarette is extinguished,” said lead investigator, Dr. Jacqueline Hamilton.

Residual pollutants remain on surfaces and in dust and continue to emit toxic gases over time.

Third Hand Smoke: The New Cancer Risk For Children  was originally published on

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