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Biological markers of harm can be detected in mice exposed for two months to low doses of Third Hand Smoke under conditions that mimic human exposure.


Third-hand smoke (THS) is a recently discovered environmental health hazard that results from accumulation and aging of second-hand smoke (SHS) toxins on surfaces of environments where smoking has occurred. Our objective was to determine whether there is a dose-dependent effect of THS exposure on biological markers of harm (BMH) using an in vivo exposure system that mimics exposure of humans to THS. THS exposure generated from as low as the 10 cigarettes-smoking regimen, resulted in increased circulating inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1 alpha, and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor. We also found that there was an increase in adrenocorticotropic hormone and superoxide dismutase and a decrease in ATP levels in liver tissue. Many of the altered BMH that are related to oxidative stress and decrease in ATP levels, suggest mitochondrial dysfunction. THS exposure generated from the 20 and 40 cigarettes-smoking regimen resulted in further damage. Our studies are important because virtually nothing is known about the physiological damage caused by different levels of THS exposure. These studies can also serve to educate the public on the dangers of THS and the BMH we identified can potentially be used in the clinic, once verified in exposed humans.

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