Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Thirdhand smoke linked to type 2 diabetes

Public Release: 2-Mar-2016
Thirdhand smoke linked to type 2 diabetes
UC Riverside-led study has health implications for nonsmokers living in homes that have (or had) smokers
University of California - Riverside

Thirdhand smoke (THS) results when exhaled smoke gets on surfaces - clothing, hair, homes and cars. THS has been shown, in mice, to damage the liver and lungs, complicate wound-healing and cause hyperactivity. Add to this list now type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.

Research published today in PLOS ONE by a team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside shows, in mice, that THS exposure causes insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

"If confirmed in humans, our study could greatly impact how people view exposure to environmental tobacco toxins," said Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology and neuroscience at UC Riverside and the lead author of the study. "Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to THS and its impact on health. Because infants frequently crawl on carpets and touch objects exposed to exhaled smoke, they are at high risk for THS exposure. The elderly are at high risk simply because older organs are more susceptible to disease."

Martins-Green explained that THS consists of tobacco smoke toxins that linger on surfaces and in dust after tobacco has been smoked.

"This includes toxins that become increasingly toxic with age and are re-emitted into the air or react with other chemicals in the environment to produce new pollutants," she said. "Some of these pollutants are carcinogenic."


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